All DHQs, THQs be upgraded with required health facilities: Asad Umar

ISLAMABAD, Aug 26 (APP): Federal Minister for Planning Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar on Wednesday directed that under the COVID-19 Responsive and Other Natural Calamities Control Programme, all the less privileged areas, provinces and the Federal Capital should be provided with the required health care facilities at the earliest.

He was chairing a meeting with Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Dr Muhammad Jehanzeb Khan to review progress on upgradation of Divisional Headquarters (DHQs) and Tehsil Headquarters (THQs) Hospitals under the programme. The meeting discussed national health facility assessment which was executed for a rapid data stock across all the Tehsil and District Headquarters Hospitals of the country.  A federal funding of Rs 70 billion is being made available in the PSDP 2020-21 as part of the commitment of the Federal Government to support provinces for their COVID-19 response and preparedness planning.

The institutional capacity has to be developed under the Health Ministry while administrative programme shall also be governed under the federating entity for long term basis to deal with the national health emergencies.

Dr Jehanzeb Khan informed that constitution of technical working groups at the federal level to facilitate the planning process, the national health facility assessments currently being executed for a rapid data stock across all the Tehsil and District Headquarters Hospitals of the country and technical resource mapping is underway. He also informed that all the DHQs and THQs are planned to be upgraded with necessary facilities for infection control and critical care. It is envisaged that DHQs and THQs would provide modern health care facilities to the people of far-flung areas at their doorstep.Member Social Sector, Dr Shabnum Sarfraz elaborated about the details of the institutional arrangements being made by the Planning Commission to expedite critical thinking and planning for the national priority initiatives.

She noted that provincial governments would utilize their experience of combating COVID-19, measures that they have introduced, the challenges confronted for identifying key priority interventions to build national resilience towards similar epidemic in future. The meeting was attended by Chief Health Dr Muhammad Asif and senior officials of the Planning Ministry.