LAHORE: Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif says the Health Department has failed to achieve targets despite having huge budgetary allocations.

He was addressing the first convocation of the University of Health Sciences (UHS) on Friday. He said that not a single lab in Pakistan could examine drugs.

It is evident from the fact that the Punjab government had to get the drugs tested from foreign labs which had caused the death of 110 patients of the Punjab Institute of Cardiology. His remarks baffled his health adviser Khwaja Salman Rafique, who at the ceremony had claimed the Punjab government had made record budgetary allocations for the health sector in the financial year.

Th chief minister, referring to the death of 14 children by diphtheria in Children’s Hospital, said a committee had been constituted to investigate into the matter and those found responsible would not be spared.

“Other countries of the region are doing better than us in health; Cuba of Fidel Castro is an example in this regard which is doing exceptionally well in healthcare,” he said, adding that the professionals, experts, administrators and political leadership needed to fulfill their responsibilities.

He, however, praised the UHS.

Up to 547 graduates and scholars were conferred degrees at the convocation that included 16 PhDs, 353 MPhils, 87 MS, 59 MSc in Medical Technology, 17 MSc in Nursing, eight MD and 7 MDS.

In MBBS, the MH Mubbashar Gold Medal was awarded to Umair Saeed, of the Rawalpindi Medical College, while Nayha Enver, of de’Montmorency College of Dentistry, got the B.A.Yazdani Gold Medal for being the overall best graduate in the BDS.

In his address, UHS Vice Chancellor retired Maj Gen Prof Muhammad Aslam advised the graduates to have a constructive attitude and think in terms of solutions, not in term of problems.

He said that over 60,000 students were registered with the university which was offering more than 100 programmes in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, allied health sciences and nursing.

He added the university had 393 publications and more than 1,000 citations in indexed journals in the last 5 years.

Published in Dawn, December 19th, 2015

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