ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on Human Rights Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar has written a letter to the Provincial Health Minister of Punjab to register his concern over the grave situation of health sector in the province.
Quoting different examples from recent past, the letter demands the provincial health minister that is the Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, to accept the failure and resign from his ministry. The letter with reference number 1-2/2012 (HR) Adviser-PM issued on November 30 claims that Punjab Health Minister has failed to protect the most fundamental human right of the citizens.
“Last year, the bite of mosquito caused loss of more than 100 precious lives only in Lahore owing to the failure of provincial government to take timely steps to control Dengue fever. More than 150 citizens lost their lives due to spurious drugs distributed through Punjab Institute of Cardiology earlier this year. In June, at least six infants died in a fire at the nursery ward of Services Hospital, Lahore,” says the letter referring to various incidents.
The letter also mentions the recent case of cough syrup which caused loss of over a dozen lives. “Just a few days ago, a new born baby was bitten by rats in Holy Family Hospital. Young doctors have also been on strike off and on,” says the letter. “All this is happening at a time when the provincial government is busy in spending billions of rupees of tax payer’s money on construction of few miles of roads in Lahore,” it further mentions.
The letter urges the provincial health minister to resign by quoting the example of the resignation of Sindh Minister for Commerce and Industry Rauf Siddiqui. “After the tragic incident of fire in the garment factory in Karachi, Sindh Minister for Commerce and Industry Rauf Siddiqui had tendered his resignation. However, no one in the Punjab government has taken responsibility of the utter failure and lack of governance especially in the health sector,” says the letter. A copy of the letter has also been sent to the Chief Justice of Pakistan and Chief Justice Lahore High Court.