LAHORE: The Punjab government has appointed two administrative secretaries for the newly-created medical education tertiary care health as well as primary and secondary healthcare departments.

Health Secretary Jawad Rafique Malik will head the Medical Education & Tertiary Care Health Department while Secretary to Chief Minister on Implementation Ahmad Javed Qazi has been appointed Primary & Secondary Healthcare Department secretary.

The decision was taken after Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif accorded approval to a summary sent to him for the bifurcation of the huge infrastructure and network of the Punjab health department.

Bifurcation of dept is meant to lessen burden

An official told Dawn that the chief minister had desired division of the health department into three administrative departments but a committee headed by Rana Sanaullah objected to this idea and proposed two departments.

After bifurcation, he said, the health authorities had proposed a set of amendments to the Rules of Business and administrative structure of the current health department.

According to the bifurcation, the health departments would have separate special health secretaries, technical, admin and development health secretaries.

In the new scheme most of the extensive public health infrastructure of Punjab would go to the primary & secondary health department. It includes the 2,461 basic health units (BHUs), 293 rural health centres (RHCs), 88 tehsil headquarters hospitals (THQs) and 34 district headquarters hospitals (DHQs).

The official said the new Drug and Control Department and the preventive care services would also be run by the same primary and secondary health department. The major preventive care services include immunisation, maternal and child health services and major micronutrient deficiencies. Besides, the Punjab Directorate Health Services would be under the same department.

He said the general cadre and consultants working at the DHQ and THQ hospitals would be under the administrative control of the primary and secondary health department.

The teaching and nursing cadres would go to the Medical Education & Tertiary Care Health Department. The department has proposed creation of new top positions of additional secretaries and section officers and also demanded mode of allocation of separate budget to the departments, the official said.

He said the site for one of the new departments would be finalised within the next few weeks. Most likely the current office of the health department would be used by the medical education & tertiary care service, he said.

Answering a question, the official said the decision of bifurcation of the department had been taken keeping in view the extensive burden of work and huge network/infrastructure which was not being managed properly by few administrative officials.

Published in Dawn, October 26th, 2015

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