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KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has directed the health department to ensure supply of medicines to all government hospitals by the end of next week. “This may be taken on top priority,” he said and added that some of the hospitals were facing a shortage of medicines as the purchase of medicines had not been completed so far.

This he said while presiding over a meeting of the health department at CM House on Monday. The meeting was attended by Health Minister Dr Sikandar Mendhro, Health Secretary Fazlullah Pechuho, Principal Secretary to CM Sohail Rajput, Finance Secretary Hassan Naqvi and others.

Clarifying about the report of shortage of medicines, Health Minister Dr Mendhro said that with the approval of the chief minister 15 per cent local purchase had been allowed while 85pc of medicines were being purchased centrally and supplied to the hospitals.

The health secretary said that the purchase committee of the department had ceased to exist as some of the senior members had resigned owing to their personal engagements and some others had gone abroad. The chief minister directed him to adopt the legal procedure and complete the purchase of medicines. “Give me a report of supply of medicines within a week,” he said.

We have to do a lot to provide health services to everyone living in Sindh: CM

The overall operational budget of hospitals of the province comes to Rs18 billion of which around Rs6.5bn is for the purchase of medicines.

The chief minister said he had installed signboards in all the hospitals urging patients to get medicines from the hospital store free of cost. “Our people are very poor and they need proper health care,” he said and added that to some extent he had succeeded in his mission but still “we have to do a lot to provide health services to everyone living in the province,” he said.

Talking about public private partnership operation of various government hospitals, the chief minister said that the private partners were operating in a better way. Therefore, their issues must be resolved on a priority basis so that they could provide best of their health facilities, he added.

The chief minister pointed out that the Drigh Bala rural health center of Johi was in a dilapidated condition, and directed the health secretary to report to him why it had been abandoned. The health secretary talked to the Dadu DHO and got the report then and there. The chief minister was told that the building was complete but it had remained for a certain period under police occupation. The chief minister directed the health secretary to take over the health centre within a week and make it functional.

Mr Shah also directed the health department to submit to him a detailed report of all the health centres/ health facilities lying incomplete either for construction purpose or for sanctioned new expenditure. “I want to make them functional by providing whatever they need — means funds or SNE,” he said.

The chief minister directed the health minister to keep visiting hospitals in close coordination with all the hospitals so that they provided best of their facilities to the people of the province.

Published in Dawn, September 26th, 2017