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LAHORE: While approval to a programme aimed at eliminating substandard and spurious medicines across Punjab, Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz Sharif has directed for strict implementation of monitoring measures by using modern technology and geo-tagging of drug stores and medicine-selling shops.

“We as Pakistanis will have to wake up our conscience, work hard, fix our intentions and fear God,” she said, adding: “To fix the system, rewards and punishments will have to be added at every level.” She said they are deciding to impose fines, imprisonment and closure of business for those selling fake, substandard and spurious medicines. “If a medicine turns out to be fake, the officer concerned of the health department and if a treatment is not correct, the administration of the hospital concerned will be held responsible,” she said.

The CM said that there should be no compromise on quality of medicine, sanitation, availability of doctors, medical staff and treatment facilities in the Emergency of hospitals. The CM also approved a program to upgrade mother and child health and emergency facilities in every government treatment center of Punjab on an emergency basis. She said, “Supply of all emergency treatment medicines and lifesaving equipment should be made a top priority. Ensure availability of 24-hour laboratory, X-ray, ultrasound and wheelchairs.”

While chairing a three-hour long meeting to review health sector reforms on the second consecutive day on Wednesday, the CM said, “The entire health system needs to be overhauled, monitoring and accountability system must be introduced. If there is no monitoring and accountability, there will be no performance.” She directed a complete mapping to determine needs and problems of public sector hospitals across Punjab.

The CM was presented with videos of Children’s Hospital Lahore’s bathroom, Operation Theater and other facilities. She got furious to see in the video that a baby is bleeding in the emergency and his mother is covering it with a cloth. She reprimanded the health department officials over this act of negligence. “If this is the situation of the biggest hospital in Lahore, what will happen to the rest,” she said, adding: “Eight children died in Sahiwal, we all are responsible, and we must answer.” The CM constituted a three-member high-level committee under the chairmanship of provincial adviser Azhar Kayani and made it clear that after determining the responsibility, the people involved should be put behind the bars.

The CM directed the authorities concerned to rectify weaknesses in the vaccination campaign. Urgent measures should be taken for the Measles vaccination campaign in Punjab.

The CM was briefed that a plan has been prepared to ensure the presence of specialist doctors in small and remote hospitals. She directed a special committee, headed by the Health Minister, to monitor the proceedings. She gave directions to devise a system to determine performance of doctors across the province. She also directed to take measures to eliminate backlog of waiting list of cardiac patients.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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