APP25-03 MULTAN: July 03 - Caretaker Chief Minister Punjab Professor Hassan Askari visiting to Nishtar Hospital. APP photo by Safdar Abbas


LAHORE, Jul 03 (APP):Caretaker Punjab Chief Minister Dr.Hasan Askari visited Multan on Tuesday and inspected Nishtar Hospital and Burn Center.
He went to different sections of Nishtar Hospital and inspected healthcare facilities.
Talking on the occasion, he said that caretaker government was striving for bringing improvements in healthcare sector and health budget had been increased for that purpose.
He said that he had visited the hospital to examine the healthcare facilities and added that he wanted to do something for service to ailing humanity.
He said that provision of facilities to the patients free of cost is the responsibility of the state. He also visited Burn Centre and inspected its different sections.
Provincial Ministers Zia Haider Rizvi, Shaukat Javed, Commissioner Multan Division, VC Nishtar Medical College and University, DC Multan and MS Nishtar Hospital were also present on the occasion, says a handout.
Talking to the media, the Chief Minister said that basic mandate of the caretaker setup was to ensure free and fair elections and the election process was being monitored through administration and media.
The candidates of all political parties are being given equal opportunities for political campaigns and the electoral code of conduct is being strictly implemented through administration and police.
The Election Commission (EC) has approved all transfers and postings in the province and the EC was directly taking action over major incidents of law and order occurred in Multan and some other cities. Permission will not be allowed to repeat such incidents in any case, he added.
He said that first priority of the caretaker setup was that shortage of funds for ongoing development schemes of health department should not occur. The emergency of 13 major hospitals of the province including the emergency block of Nishtar Hospital Multan is being revamped, he added.
Caretaker setup is fully aware of the problems arising due to patients’ rush in this hospital and one billion rupees has been allocated in the new budget for Nishtar Hospital-II project. Replying to a question, the Chief Minister said that administration has been issued directions to immediately solve the election related complaints.
If candidates are facing any problem then they should bring it into the notice of divisional and district administration, he added.
To a question, he said that issues that happened in Multan, Sargodha and Kasur with regard to elections have been taken up by the EC and such incidents will not be allowed in future. Dr. Askari said that caretaker government is willing to improve the standard of facilities in healthcare sector.
In this regard, two challenges have been noticed during the visits of different hospitals. The first issue is that number of patients is much larger than the health facilities provided there and another issue is shortage of staff.
The caretaker government will not let all ongoing schemes of health sector to face shortage of funds. Nishtar Hospital is also facing the problem of large number of patients and in order to solve this issue, Nishtar Hospital-II project is very essential.
The caretaker government has allocated one billion rupees for this project in the budget so that people of whole of southern Punjab could be provided best healthcare facilities.
In addition to it, the emergencies of 13 major hospitals of the province are being revamped. The caretaker government has also enhanced the funds of health department, he added. To a question, he said that caretaker government had limited powers.
However, it will draft recommendations for the next government about long-term projects.
Later, the Chief Minister presided over a meeting at Circuit House Multan in which arrangements with regard to holding of general elections were reviewed.
Addressing the meeting, he said that agenda of the caretaker government is free and fair elections only. The increase in number of polling stations in Punjab has also increased the administrative responsibilities. Indiscriminate implementation of code of conduct will be ensured on the polling day.
Arrangements are being made keeping in view all the aspects of law and order situation.
Administration will play the fundamental role for achieving the objective of independent elections. The coordination of police, administration and other agencies with regard to elections’ arrangements is commendable, he added.
Caretaker Home Minister Shaukat Javed said that security agencies should remain fully alert and active keeping in view the sensitivity of the present situation.
The meeting was briefed that areal firing and fire-crackers would not be allowed in the elections and search operations are underway before the elections.
The polling material will be transferred under strict vigilance. Security will be tightened at polling stations and other public places. Advance arrangements will be made to deal with any situation on the election day. Police will be deployed at different places besides arranging effective patrolling.
The Commissioners and RPOs of Multan, Bahawalpur and DG Khan gave detailed briefings about election staff, security and other arrangements. Provincial Ministers Zia Haider Rizvi, Shaukat Javed, Secretary to CM Khurram Agha, Commissioner Multan Nadeem Irshad Kiyani, Commissioner Bahawalpur Nayyar Iqbal, Commissioner DG Khan Rana Gulzar, RPOs Abubakar Khuda Bukhsh, Faisal Shahkar, Sh. Umar, Additional Secretary Anwar Kharal and other officials were also present on the occasion.