LAHORE -  Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday inaugurated the three-day Pakmedica Medical Health Exhibition organised by the Punjab Health Department in collaboration with the Turkish Government at the Expo Centre.

After inaugurating the event, the chief minister visited various stalls and saw medical equipment and machinery displayed there. Talking to the media, he announced launch of the motorbike ambulance service in all nine divisions of the province next month. He said that cooperation between Pakistan and Turkey in different sectors was being promoted. He said that steps had been taken to improve the health sector with Turkey’s help.

“The exhibition at the Expo Centre is a reflection of growing cooperation between Punjab and the Turkish government. With this exhibition, Pakistan and Turkey will come closer and bilateral cooperation will be strengthened. Latest medical equipment and machines have been displayed at the exhibition and a wonderful display has been arranged with regard to healthcare. I am thankful to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, Turkish Health Minister Dr Ahmet Demircan and Turkish companies. Member of Turkish Parliament Burhan Kayaturk has also arrived to attend the exhibition. A good number of heads of famous Turkish companies and officials is already present here. We welcome them from the core of our hearts,” he said.

Shehbaz said that cooperation between Punjab and Turkey was being enhanced in different sectors, especially health sector. Both governments have taken steps to improve healthcare systems and it will benefit the common man, he said. He said the Punjab government had decided to launch the motorbike ambulance service in the province in the beginning of October. This ambulance service will be started simultaneously in all nine divisions of the province, including Lahore, he said. “Turkey has provided worthwhile cooperation for the launch of this programme and it will be very useful for dealing with any emergency situation in the alleyways. Through this service, timely first-aid will be provided to patients. The staff of the motorbike ambulance service will be highly trained and will carry all necessary equipment with them. This programme is being launched for the first time in Pakistan.

The chief minister expressed the hope that launch of this exhibition would help strengthen Pakistan-Turkey relations and steps will be taken in the healthcare sector to benefit the ailing humanity. “This is the core objective of our cooperation,” he added. He thanked the Turkish government, provincial ministers and secretaries of health, former president of LCCI Abdul Basit, line departments and high officials for their efforts.

Members of Turkish Parliament Burhan Kayaturk, Consul General of Turkey Serdar Deniz, higher officials of Turkish Health Ministry, representatives of Turkish companies, Provincial Minister Khawaja Salman Rafiq, Sheikh Allauddin, Khawaja Imran Nazir, secretary of health and other higher officials were also present on the occasion.

Earlier, a high-level meeting was held here on Thursday with Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif in the chair to review security arrangements for Ashura.

The chief minister directed the officials to further tighten the security of imambargahs, mosques, shrines and places of worship and said that foolproof security arrangements should be made to maintain law and order during the first 10 days of the Islamic month of Muharram.

Separately, the chief minister said in his message on the World Heart Day that cardiac problem was the biggest cause of death in the world. He said that role of organisations working for awareness about cardiac problems was important.

Also, Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed deep sense of sorrow and grief over the death of mother of Hafiz Mian Muhammad Nauman, former member of the Provincial Assembly. He also extended sympathies and condolences to the bereaved family over the death of Sheikh Sajjad Hassan, former chairman of the Federal Board of Revenue.

German Ambassador to Pakistan Martin Kobler called on Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif here on Thursday. Matters relating to mutual cooperation and skill development were discussed during the meeting. The chief minister expressed his best wishes for the ambassador. The German ambassador said the chief minister had done a lot for people of his province.