The Punjab government on Thursday declared an emergency in all public sector hospitals amid rising tension between Pakistan and India, Radio Pakistan reported.
According to a notification issued by the Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department, leaves of specialists, doctors, nurses, paramedics and supporting staff have been canceled until further order.
All medical superintendents of the government-run hospitals at the district and tehsil levels have been asked to equip emergency, trauma and burn wards with adequate medicines.
Earlier on Wednesday, Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar directed the authorities concerned to ensure better healthcare facilities and provision of medicines at all government hospitals across the province.
Presiding a meeting to review the performance of the health sector, Buzdar directed the ministers and provincial assembly members to visit hospitals and present their recommendations to bring further improvements in the provision of healthcare facilities to the masses.
“Similarly, provision of medicines should be ensured at government-run hospitals,” he added.
The chief minister said that provision of better healthcare facilities to the people was the top priority of the government, adding that an air ambulance service project was also being launched to airlift patients in critical condition.
“A 100-bed hospital will soon be established at the Punjab Institute of Mental Health to treat addicts,” he said and added that doctors’ residences in Bahawalnagar district will also be completed as per schedule.
Buzdar directed that Fatima Jinnah Institute of Dental Sciences be activated and standard private rooms be established in government hospitals. He said that a number of laws, including a medical teaching institution act, are being introduced as well. “The students from tribal areas will be able to seek admission in medical colleges on reserved seats.”
The meeting deliberated upon the proposal of increasing the duration of employment of medical teaching faculty along with start of nightshift in nursing schools and recruitment of male nurses.
The chief minister directed that the decision of uniform fee for medical tests in government hospitals should be reviewed. “Burdening the poor is not acceptable to me. It is the responsibility of the state to provide the best healthcare facilities to the needy free-of-cost.”
He expressed the satisfaction that the recruitment process of doctors, nurses and other staff, was being completed with utmost transparency and improvements were visible in the health sector.
“It is satisfying that quality healthcare facilities have been provided to the needy people through Sehat Sahulat Program,” he added.
Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmeen Rashid, Health Advisor Muhammad Hanif Pitafi, ACS, spokesperson to the chief minister and other officers concerned attended the meeting.