LAHORE (PR): Punjab Chief Secretary Akbar Durrani on Sunday visited the Punjab Institute of Mental Health (PIMH) to review the facilities being provided to patients there.

Accompanied by Specialized Healthcare Secretary Saqib Zafar, Durrani inspected different sections of the institute and asked the patients about quality of facilities being provided to them. During his visit to the art section, an under-treatment patient presented the chief secretary his own painting.  PIMH Executive Director Dr Mudasar Hameed Qureshi briefed the chief secretary about 1,000 patients under treatment at the hospital. He said that at present the institute is facing acute shortage of doctors and staff.

 Besides initiating recruitment of staff at the institute, a case has also been forwarded to the Punjab Public Service Commission for appointments to posts of grade 17 or above, he added.

The chief secretary ordered that a 100-bed centre for rehabilitation for drug addicts be made functional at the earliest and recruitment of doctors and staff be completed on a priority basis. He also issued instructions for planting more trees at the hospital so that patients could get a clean environment. He checked quality of food and cleanliness in the kitchen.

Earlier, the chief secretary visited the United Christian Hospital (UCH) in Gulberg. He directed Specialized Healthcare Secretary Saqib Zafar to submit a comprehensive plan to rehabilitate the UCH. He mentioned that this hospital can be helpful in efforts to provide quality healthcare to patients under public-private partnership. He said that all possible resources would be utilized for provision of latest medical facilities to people. He opined that nursing and medical technician courses can be started, using the spacious building of UCH.

The chief secretary was briefed that UCH is being run under a board of directors. About Rs250 million would be required for complete rehabilitation of UCH including repair and renovation of building, purchase of equipment, and salaries of doctors and staff. A two-year course of community midwife is being conducted at UCH whereas new courses can also be started with the help of the govt.