Nov 21, 2013

Balochistan: Minister Promises Health Sector Upgrades

Balochistan’s Health Minister Rehmat Saleh Baloch has promised to bring improvements to the health sector - which is currently underfinanced and lacks expert technicians - by organising an international conference aimed at finding solutions and funding.

Below is an article published by DAWN:

Balochistan’s Health Minister Rehmat Saleh Baloch has said that after administrative reforms, powers will be devolved from the secretariat to lower levels with the aim of bringing about improvements in the health sector.

The health sector, he said, had been badly affected in the last 10 years.

Addressing a press conference along with Health Secretary Abdul Saboor Kakar here on Wednesday, he said that after the 18th Constitutional Amendment and handing over of many institutions and departments to the provinces, the international donors had stopped funding many health programmers in Balochistan which resulted in closure of 18 HIV testing centres and many other ongoing health projects.

He said that in view of the health problems being faced by the people of Balochistan, an inter-provincial conference would be organised in Quetta to find out solutions and persuade international donors to resume their funding of health-related projects in Balochistan.

The minister said the present government was giving full attention to education and health as these two sectors had been badly ignored by the previous governments.

He disclosed that despite having funds, the former governments did not purchase required machinery and equipment for the two main hospitals, the Bolan Medical College Teaching Hospital and Civil Hospital Quetta. It had been decided to immediately procure the required equipment for these two hospitals, he added.

On this occasion the secretary said that MRI and CT Scan equipment were available in major hospitals but technicians were not available to operate them.

“We are badly facing a shortage of expertise, including technicians and trained staff to support doctors,” he said and added that we have made arrangements to send our people to Dow Medical University of Health Sciences to get required training.

The minister said that under the reforms to be introduced in the health department, additional and deputy secretaries and other heads of the departments would not only sit in their offices but also visit government hospitals throughout the province and review the facilities and submit their reports on monthly basis to the provincial government.

He said that 100 Basic Health Units would be upgraded while hospitals with 25 beds would be set up in Muslim Bagh, Khuzdar, Pishin, Chamalang and Dalbandin by utilising the Workers Welfare Funds.