Punjab Health Minister Dr. Yasmin Rashid said here on Thursday that reporting on health issues especially epidemics was very much technical in nature and required professional improvement on continuous basis. Speaking as chief guest at the 'Risk Communication and Reporting of Epidemics' the Health Minister that role of Pakistani media remained largely professional and responsible during the Corona Pandemic. The workshop was organized by the Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department with support of the World Health Organization. Present on the occasion were Secretary Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department Imran Sikander Baloch, Director General Health Services Punjab Dr. Haroon Jehangir, Head of Office WHO Punjab Dr. Jamshed Ahmed, Senior Journalists Siddique Khan, Mohammad Ilyas, Zaheeruddin Babar and reporters covering health beat in the provincial metropolis. The participants engaged in interactive sessions over Risk Communication and grey areas in news story development during epidemics and pandemics. In her speech, the Health Minister said, "I congratulate the Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department and express my gratitude to the WHO for organizing a workshop on a very important area, Risk Communication. Media has a huge responsibility as the fourth pillar of the state. Communicating right and accurate information to citizens is the responsibility of media. Sensationalism and irresponsible reporting create panic and chaotic situations. Reporting on health is extremely sensitive as the selection of words can have serious impact on public perceptions. There are technical jargons that often times get misreported.
Our media played positive role during Corona Pandemic. The COVID-19 changed life styles and affected the world beyond description. Our department tries to make best efforts to communicate right information to the public. During the Corona Pandemic, there were news stories about trials of Chloroquin and Actemra. Yet that triggered panic and unnecessary storage began by people. We try to keep people updated about the latest situation on COVID-19 and Dengue. Reporting on health is technical in nature and places a lot of responsibility on reporters. The working of the government and role of media are contributory and compulsory in nature. Issue-based objective reporting reduces distances between the government and the media. During Reach Every Door campaign, media' s role was exemplary. Europe is witnessing an increase in cases as winter sets in and there be possible lockdowns. I must mention the role of NCOC that led information management very well. Creating awareness and saving lives is a sadqa-i-jariya. Reporters acquainted with Health jargons and are better equipped to report on health issues. I must pay tribute to health reporters who provided right information to people during the Pandemic. A large population of Punjab have been inoculated for first dose. Strong coordination between media and public helps control panic and chaos in society during times of crisis." In his speech Secretary Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department Imran Sikander Baloch said media role was very important in creating awareness in public. He said the P&SH Department was keeping people abreast of all developments and work on improving systems was underway. He said through strong coordination with media the government was trying to communicate accurate information to public. Director General Health Services Punjab Dr. Haroon Jehangir said that the session was extremely productive as media and department was able to understand working of each other. He said queries, concerns and suggestions of journalists were noted and understood during the session. WHO Head of office Dr. Jamshed Ahmed elaborated technical details on areas like PPE and N95 masks and their usage. He underpinned WHO commitment for continuous technical support to the government.
On the direction of Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar, Section Officer Muhammad Shafiq of the specialised healthcare & medical education department has been removed from his post and directed to report to S&GAD. Secretary SH&ME department has issued a departmental order along with the initiation of an enquiry. This action is taken on complaints of extortion of money for ad hoc recruitments. While laying strong emphasis on the selfless service of the people, the CM repeated that there is no room for corrupt officials in the province adding that action is taken whenever a complaint has come up.
Punjab Health Minister Dr. Yasmin Rashid inaugurated new Mehman Khana and a cafeteria at Jinnah Hospital here on Thursday with Ijaz Ghar. Present on the occasion were Principal Allama Iqbal Medical College Professor Dr. Arif Tajammul, DG Social Welfare Mudassar Riaz Malik, MS Jinnah Hospital Dr. Tahir Rasheed and a large number of doctors, nurses, and paramedical staff. The Health Minister had a detailed meeting with Friends of Jinnah and discussed ways to facilitate patients. Gohar Ijaz shared contributions from Friends of Jinnah for facilitation in the treatment of patients. The Health Minister inquired from doctors and nurses about the service quality at the cafe. The Minister thanked Gohar Ejaz for supporting in the development of the cafe. In her speech, the Health Minister said, "A mehman khana for 250 persons and a beautiful cafe has been developed at Jinnah Hospital. My heartfelt gratitude to Gohar Ijaz and his team for developing a Mehman Khana and a cafe teria. Allah Almighty likes those who serve humanity. Our philanthropists provide food support for over 10000 patients and attendants daily at Jinnah Hospital. Islam emphasises serving humanity. Renal transplant facility shall be provided at Jinnah Hospital very soon. We have discussed a master plan of Jinnah Hospital with Friends of Jinnah. All departments of Jinnah Hospital are being upgraded. The buildings requiring repair are being renovated. By March 2022 all modular theatres shall be completed at Jinnah Hospital. Our philanthropists shall extend support in the development of a Cardiac hospital. Prime Minister Imran Khan has always appreciated the philanthropists of Pakistan. We are ensuring compliance with govt scheduled timings in OPDs. By adding durations of OPDs, more patients can get services. Data of All patients of Jinnah Hospital is being consolidated. We are focusing on enhancing services for mother and child in Punjab."
Punjab Health Minister Dr. Yamsin Rashid directed the Nishter Medical University administration on Wednesday to rejuvenate the Friends of Nishter Committee to facilitate patients as much as possible. Chairing the Syndicate Meeting of the Nishter Medical University in Multan, the Minister said that an important Teaching Institution like Nishter Medical University must lead by example. She said cleanliness arrangements must be improved in the University. There must be no delay in the repair and maintenance of biomedical equipment. The Friends of Nishter Committee must be made functional and it will resolve local issues on its own. She said the behaviour of staff towards patients must be improved. The Health Minister said that the Punjab government is giving away 248 billion to hospitals and all must focus on improvement in healthcare service delivery. During the syndicate meeting, the budget of Rs. 5 billion for the University was discussed and approved. Dr. Yasmin Rashid said that the Master Plan of Nishter University must be presented and there must be a phase-wise plan for development, renovation, and repair and maintenance. Under the master plan, procurement and repair and maintenance of medical equipment must also be done. She directed the authorities to spend all allocated budget with transparency and in accordance with procurement procedures. During the syndicate meeting, the chair approved for MS Nursing and BS Technology Program as well as diplomas for DCP, DCO, DGH, DTCD, DOMS and DAM. The Health Minister constituted a committee comprising Secretary Health South Nadir Chatha, MS Nishter and Director Finance on the issue of former Senior Auditor Mohammad Iqbal. The meeting was attended by Secretary health Nadir Chatha, Vice-Chancellor Nishter Medical University Rana Altaf, Principal Nishter Medical College Professor Dr. Iftikhar Hussain, member syndicate Jalaluddin Rumi, Professor Dr. Sami Akhtar, Director Finance, Registrar Nishter Medical University professor Ghulam Mustafa, MS Nishter Hospital Amjad Chandiyo and syndicate members.
Punjab Employees Social Security Institution (PESSI) organized a ceremony to honour the top performers of the department. Minister Labour Ansar Majeed Khan participated as a chief guest whereas Secretary Labour Liaqat Ali and Commissioner PESSI Syed Bilal Haider also attended the ceremony. Minister distributed souvenirs, certificates and cash prizes among the employees of PESSI who performed well throughout the year. Minister congratulated those who got the prize and advised them to work hard to get further success in life. Addressing the ceremony, Minister said the process of digitization is going in full swing in the Labour Department. All the data of registered labourers is being digitized and the department is going to provide every registered labourer ‘Mazdoor Card’ linked with bank account. During the last three years Labour Department passed many laws from the Punjab Assembly for the welfare of laborers. Minister said that the biggest number of industrial units registered themselves with PESSI during self-assessment and amnesty scheme this year. PESSI issued social security cards to more than 3 lac labourers and increases registration by 40 percent during the last three years, he added. The department is working to devise a mechanism for providing health facilities and pension to retired labourers, he said. Secretary Labour said instructions have been given to officers to get 20 million registration targets by the end of 2022. School council committees have been established in Labour Welfare Schools to solve problems on war footings, such committees would also be established in social security hospitals comprising of representatives from Labour unions, chambers of commerce and local people to get the problems solved immediately, Secretary added. Commissioner Social Security said while addressing the ceremony that this is first time PESSI organized such an event to honour the best employees. Cash prizes of Rs.10 million will be distributed among employees of PESSI who performed well, he added.