LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif inaugurated the first phase of Pakistan Kidney and Liver Transplant Institute (PKLI), here on Monday.
This institution, which is the largest and most modern in South Asia and is constructed with an amount of Rs20 billion, will provide free treatment facilities to deserving patients of kidney and liver diseases and the patients will also get modern diagnostic and treatment facilities.
The chief minister inspected different sections of the hospital after the inauguration of the first phase and went to the OPD, dialysis centre and other departments to check the latest medical facilities there.
Addressing the inaugural ceremony, Shehbaz said that the nation is celebrating the birth anniversary of the founder of the nation which has been celebrated for the last 70 years. “Every year ceremonies are held, floral-wreaths are laid at the mausoleums of Iqbal and Jinnah, but this year, it is a unique moment that Punjab government has given the gift of a hospital according to the vision of Quaid-e-Azam,” he added.
The first phase of this hospital has been operationalised and the poor patients will be treated totally free of cost while the rich will have to pay, he said. He added that the Punjab government has spent Rs1.5 billion for the treatment of poor patients suffering from kidney and liver diseases from abroad during the last 9.5 years.
Punjab government has written a new history by setting up this institution with its own resources and it will bridge the gap between the poor and the rich, he said.
The CM said that people should analyze that how much respect they have given to the struggle and sacrifices of founding fathers and elders. The ruling elite has access to all the amenities of life while a big chunk of the population is deprived of the even the basic facilities, he added.
He said that he was diagnosed with appendix cancer in 2003, and got himself treated from the USA. He added, “I spent a lot of money on this treatment but I think that if any poor person from any far-flung area had got this fatal disease, then from where he will spend 50-60 lac rupees? And due to it, he will die because of lack of medicines and proper treatment,” he added.
“Such a Pakistan cannot be called a country of Quaid and Iqbal and we are required to bridge this gap between poor and the rich,” Shehbaz said and added that if it was not done, then the soft revolution will be turned into a bloody revolution which will be unstoppable and everything will be affected.
Shehbaz said that it was the time that “we should move further to make this country a real welfare state according to the vision of Quaid and Iqbal”.
Federal Health Minister Saira Afzal Tarar, Punjab Minister Khawaja Salman Rafique, Khawaja Imran Nazir, provincial ministers, members of the assembly, PKLI BoG Chairman Dr Saeed Akhtar, chief secretary, health secretaries, P&D chairman and a large number of people attended the ceremony.