ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on Tuesday inaugurated the first-ever Medical and Dental College of the Capital city and said the government held health as a top most priority. “Access to quality health services is an inherent right of every citizen and all our efforts are directed at ensuring that we take the services to the poorest of the poor and the marginalized,” the Prime Minister said while addressing the inaugural ceremony of the college. The Prime Minister said,”the ever-increasing growth in population and the consequent pressure on health facilities in the urban centers demands that we improve and upgrade health infrastructure in the rural and peri-urban areas providing services at people’s doorsteps.”
The Prime Minister said that by inaugurating the first-ever medical and dental college the government had met another promise made with the people of the Capital city. The establishment of college was a long standing demand of the residents of the federal area, he added.He said that this was the first public sector medical college in the country where fees structure would be low and affordable while providing top quality medical education at par with international standards.The Prime Minister said that the need for a new medical college in this part of the country was increasingly felt as the pressure on existing medical institutions in the country was immense with a growing number of aspirants looking for a career in this noble profession.The establishment of this medical college is yet another major step taken by the democratic government in the health sector, he said.“You would recall that when in 2010, the nation was confronted with grave challenges in the wake of unprecedented floods, I directed that a National Health Emergency and Response Network be established at Islamabad to deal with all issues pertaining to health-care in the affected districts,” the Prime Minister and added that by the grace of Allah Almighty, hundreds of thousands of precious lives were saved with this network providing health-care services to those in need in the length and breadth of Pakistan.”
The Prime Minister said there was no shortage of medicines anywhere in the entire affected areas which stretched from Gilgit-Baltistan to the southern tip of the country. Hundreds of medical teams were dispatched to these areas and the world saw how with timely response and missionary zeal “we averted a major health catastrophe”.In the recent past, he said, we provided a new pay structure for the Para-medics which was aimed at giving dignity to this vital link in the health-care services. This drive to incentivize medical services and provide a better career structure enabled “us to introduce a new career structure for all health professionals including doctors, nurses and allied staff”.This was a landmark achievement as no previous government had been able to take such a bold and positive step, the Prime Minister said.Prime Minister Gilani said that the government believed in actions rather than words and provision of an integrated health facility to residents of Bharakahu and rural areas of Islamabad was a reflection of the same.
He said that an almost non-functional health centre was converted into a quality mini-hospital where the people of the area were provided all major services under one roof which had significantly reduced the burden on two major hospitals in the Capital city while saving precious lives which were being lost while ferrying emergency cases from these areas to hospitals in urban areas.Taking cognizant of the increasing number of cases of liver infections in the country and with a view to sparing the affected families from the agony of taking these patients abroad and spending millions in foreign exchange, the Prime Minister said the government directed the establishment of the country’s first-ever liver transplant centre. He said funds for the centre were provided instantly by the government and work was now near completion.This will be a life saving facility for thousands of families who suffer because they are unable to afford the highly expensive treatment of this life threatening condition, the Prime Minister added.
He said that the government had taken drastic steps for the eradication of polio from the country and constituted a national task force on polio eradication chaired by (himself) the Prime Minister with all chief ministers as its members.Special monitoring cells have been established in the offices of the Prime Minister and all chief ministers, he said and added that district administrations had been made responsible for anti-polio activities and “we introduced a policy of zero tolerance for any official found wanting in his task”.He said that some of the key initiatives taken by the federal Government in the recent past would be sustained and taken forward for the betterment of our people.The Prime Minister paid tribute to the leadership in the health sector, the Ministry of Health, doctors and health professionals of Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences who made this project a reality.
Through their hard work and commitment, they have been able to accomplish this task in the shortest possible time ensuring that top quality training facilities are provided at the college, he added.The Prime Minister said,”the nation needs a healing touch and the government has to heal wounds of the past, comfort the hapless and give hope of a better tomorrow to the people”.“It is only then that we can claim to have made a significant contribution to making Pakistan happier and healthier than before,” he said.The Prime Minister on the occasion also announced Rs 50 million to upgrade the hospital facilities.Federal Health Minister Riaz Pirzada, Minister of State for Health Sardar Shahjahan Yusuf, Secretary Health Nargis Sethi, Project Director, Federal Medical and Dental College Dr. Jehanzeb Aurakzai and PIMS Executive Director Professor Mehmood Jamal were also present on the occasion. – APP