A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between the Punjab Health Department and Novartis Pharma Pakistan to provide healthcare facilities to the cancer patients.
Under the agreement, a sum of Rs. 44 billion will be spent on the treatment of cancer patients during the next five years. The Punjab government will provide Rs. 4.40 billion while the share of Novartis Pharma will be Rs. 39.6 billion. A total of nine thousand cancer patients will be benefitted from this program.
The Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif was the chief guest of the ceremony which held at Model Town today. Secretary Medical Education Najam Shah signed on behalf of the Punjab government while Mr. Shafique Ahmed inked the agreement on behalf of the Novartis Pharma Pakistan. On the occasion, the Chief Minister welcomed the agreement and said that it will benefit the cancer patients.
He said 3600 patients have been treated through the continuing program of Punjab government and Novartis Pharma and now we are moving further ahead. This program is very transparent and it has been audited from Ferguson Company. The volume of this program is Rs. 44 billion with duration of five years and nine thousand cancer patients will be benefitted. He said that it is a revolutionary program with far-reaching effects. Replying to the questions of the media, the Chief Minister said that cancer’s treatment is very expensive and different institutions are working for its treatment in the Punjab.
Provision of best healthcare and educational facilities to the citizens is the responsibility of the state and if it can’t perform it, then what’s its usefulness? If the people are not getting health and educational facilities then the reason is mega corruption. Had the resources of the poor nation are not plundered then every citizen would have been getting best health and educational facilities. He said the Punjab government is setting up Pakistan Kidney & Liver Transplant Institute to treat kidney and liver cancer.
He said that unique steps have been adopted for the improvement of health sector but if the children are not getting quality education and treatment then it is because of mega corruption. Free education and treatment is irrespective right of every citizen and if he is not getting it, then its only reason is corruption.
During the last 70 years, the political and dictatorial governments did not perform their duties nor did the institutions play their role. The PML-N government ensured transparent utilization of resources and transparency is the hallmark of the PML-N. To a question, he said that Pakistan of today is much better than Pakistan of October 12, 1999. The dictatorial regime, its puppet governments and the subsequent governments plunged the country to crises and promoted darkness due to lack of electricity.
The credit goes to the PML-N government and Nawaz Sharif that we have worked day and night to end energy crises and time is near when the darkness of load-shedding will be shed away and we will sell additional electricity to India, Afghanistan and Iran. The country was succumbed to terrorism and fanaticism during nine years’ long dictatorship and we have overcome the genie of terrorism and fanaticism to maximum extent. Though, it is a proof of political commitment of the political government.
However, the officers and jawans of the Pakistan Army, police as well as the security institutions have given their blood for it and it is a story of great sacrifices. The nation has been facing consequences of wrong decisions made during the 70 years but it is time to move further with hard work and commitment instead of repenting on past mistakes. To a question, he said that Punjab government extended sincere offer to help the brothers and sisters suffering from dengue in Peshawar and sent teams of doctors, nurses and paramedical staff besides dispatching mobile hospital there.
These teams helped their brothers and our ministers also went to Peshawar to extend support. We have given maximum support but their government asked us to leave so we have left but whenever they will recall us we shall be available to them for their service. To a question, he said that the network of hepatitis filter clinics is being extended to the whole of Punjab to provide best treatment to the patients. In addition to it, best treatment facilities of hepatitis are being given in hospitals because if steps are not taken to eradicate this disease today, then we will have to spend much more resources in future.
He said that effective steps have been taken to eliminate spurious drugs and high-quality medicines are being provided in public sector hospitals. There is no dearth of resources for maintaining peace and provision of education, healthcare and other basic facilities. It is the duty of our colleagues and line departments to ensure transparent utilization of resources provided for best of the best healthcare facilities to the people.
To a question, he said students are joining government schools from private schools and the reason is our steps taken for the promotion of quality education. He said though private schools are playing important role for the promotion of education but they will not be allowed to make any undue raise in fee. To a question, he said that when he went to Government Recep Tayyip Hospital, he noticed that the hospital was neat and clean.
The Punjab government is providing resources for the hospital and Pakistanis are working there which are also present in other public sector hospitals, but management is the only difference. The management of this hospital is given to Indus Trust. During my visit, patients have expressed their satisfaction over the provision of best healthcare facilities. The 250-beds extension project of this hospital will be completed by December 25. I wish not only Punjab but the whole of Pakistan could adopt this model. He refuted the baseless propaganda of privatization of hospitals and said that this propaganda is being made by the worried people because this model is being moving ahead successfully.
He said that YDA consists of sons and daughters of the nation who should serve the ailing humanity instead of going on strikes. He said that it would not happen in his tenure that anybody could go on strike or blackmail and may not heal the wounds of the ailing humanity.
The nation is fully conscious and it will not be cheated. He said that we are answerable to Almighty Allah as well as to the nation and therefore, we will not be blackmailed by anybody. To a question, he said that PEEF was started in 2008 and stipends amounting to Rs. 12 billion have been distributed in intelligent students. Had this program been started 70 years ago, perhaps it would not been needed today.
This country belongs to the poor as much as to the ruling elite and we are needed to make this country a Pakistan of Quaid and Iqbal. He congratulated the nation and the cancer patients over the successful continuity of ongoing program between Punjab government and Novartis Pharma and signing of new agreement and said that this program will be proved very useful. Provincial Ministers Kh. Salman Rafique, Kh. Imran Nazir, Advisor Dr. Umer Saif, Chief Secretary, health secretaries, health experts and others were also present on the occasion.