Revamping systems to improve upon service delivery

LAHORE  -  Availability of basic facilities like rewarding educa­tion, quality healthcare,affordable housing, reliable security and elimination of abject poverty through gainful employment are some of the fundamental socio-economic rights of people living in a modern welfare state. During the course of its checkered history spanning over more than seven decades, the state of Pakistan has institutionalized many in­terventions for securing better scores on Human Development Index (HDI). Prime Minister Youth Programme (PMYP), Benazir Income Support Pro­gramme (BISP), Pakistan Baitul Mal (PBM), Punjab Education Endowment Fund (PEEF), Punjab Safe Cities Authority (PSCA) and Punjab Forensic Science Agency (PFSA) are some of the leading institutions in this regard. Schemes like Youth Business Loan, Skill Development, Fee Reimbursement, Laptops and In­ternship were designed by the Federal Government to make our bulging young population a real national asset by catering to 3Es of development, that is Ed­ucation, Employment and Engagement. Similarly, Scholarships under Punjab Educational Endowment Fund (PEEF), vocational training under Punjab Skill Development Fund (PSDF) and Danish Schools chain in Punjab are very valuable interventions of the Gov­ernment of the Punjab for providing equal oppor­tunities to the bright students of downtrodden seg­ments of society to learn and thrive in their chosen fields. It is worth-mentioning that being cognizant of the importance of Education and Health sectors for being the backbone of a thriving economy, the Gov­ernment of the Punjab has aptly capitalized on their development over the years. Proposed budget of the Caretaker Government for the first four months of FY 2023-24 pose a glaring evidence, in which ex­penditures on both these sectors have been jacked up by 31% for each sector when compared to bud­getary allocations of the previous years. It has been rightly felt that tertiary healthcare facilities in the province need a major revamp and up gradation to make them abreast with the modern best practices in the field, in order to improve upon the service de­livery and patient experience. Sprawling over more than 30 Million square feet of land, tertiary health­care facilities in Punjab include 7 medical universi­ties, 20 medical colleges, 44 tertiary care hospitals, 7 cardiac institutes and 3 children hospitals. These are supplemented by 44 nursing colleges, 16 para­medic schools, and 11 LHV schools across Punjab. It is a fact that historically focus of development in the health sector remained on constructing new empty blocks while people suffered at the old existing in­frastructure. On the contrary, the Caretaker Govern­ment of the Punjab under the vibrant leadership of Syed Mohsin Naqvi has decided to focus on improv­ing patient comfort, care and service delivery instead of allocating precious financial resources on expan­sions and new flashy projects with low patient value. Therefore, authorities are trying their utmost to en­sure a comfortable, safe and hygienic experience for the patients, besides rehabilitation and improvement of the old blocks and dilapidated infrastructure. They are also striving hard to revamp hospital emergen­cies and OPDs and getting the entire tertiary health­care facilities master planned through Infrastructure Development Authority of Punjab (IDAP). They are also working on improving service delivery and ame­nities at the three Children Hospitals & the Institute of Child Health (CH&ICH) in Lahore, Faisalabad and Multan, besides ensuring availability of quality medi­cines for the patients there.

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