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LAHORE: Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid Thursday said the government was not privatising any healthcare facility and the financial and administrative control of state-run facilities would remain under the government control.

She said that the government would continue to exercise complete administrative control over government-owned facilities, provide funds to them and ensure necessary audits, monitoring and other checks and balances.

In her statement, the minister said, "It is unfortunate to prevaricate amends to administrative scheme of things as privatisation. The government has neither privatised, nor intends to deliver control of its hospitals to any private entity or individuals," she said.

Explaining the background, she said: "The Medical Teaching Institutions Act aims at improving the functioning of the system and making it more efficient, responsive and accountable. There is consensus among all stakeholders that we need to improve the working of healthcare system.

"This is a beginning for which we have consulted all stakeholders.

Initially, the MTI Act will be piloted in five institutions and, after a thorough review and on the basis of lessons learnt, future course of action shall be decided."

As part of the MTI, the government is introducing one-line budget system, which will ensure availability of funds, uninterrupted supply of medicines and smooth working of equipment, she added.

Dr Yasmin Rashid said, "A comparative study of systems in developed countries was made and all stakeholders were consulted including vice chancellors, professors, medical and professional bodies and other organisations before the development of the framework."

She said this was a longstanding demand of doctors that their salaries be increased. The MTI Act envisages handsome increase in salaries. However, a robust monitoring system has to be in place if wages are to be given a substantial boost, she added.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2019