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- Thursday, March 31, 2011 - From Print Edition




Deputy Speaker Sindh Assembly Shehla Raza announced on Wednesday that the government will increase the number of its Lady Health Workers (LHW) by three hundred thousand in order to provide better healthcare to the poor masses as opposed to firing people for failing to do so.


While addressing a policy dialogue on reproductive health - organized by the Leadership for Environment and Development (LEAD) — at a local hotel, the Deputy Speaker stated that “Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) does not believe in the terminating jobs in the health sector. However, health workers should realize their responsibilities as caretakers of human life.”


Shehla Raza blamed the high rate of patient deaths on the negligence of doctors in public healthcare institutions, which is marked by their poor attendance and punctuality.


While acknowledging that Karachi has better healthcare facilities compared to interior Sindh, the Deputy Speaker still highlighted the fact that a large number of patients in the provincial metropolis are dying from various ailments owing to a deficiency in quality healthcare.


She said that, “At a time when Basic Health Units (BHU) are in need of improvement, BHUs – even in a mega city like Karachi — are closed at 1pm,” adding that despite all efforts Sindh’s healthcare sector is still facing major problems.


With regards to LHWs, Shehla Raza said that “certain individuals are politicising the federal issue that cannot be resolved until the health ministry is handed over to the provinces”.


She explained that instead of firing LHWs or other health sector employees, the PPP government will hire three hundred thousand more LHWs to provide better public healthcare to impoverished areas.


Dr Suleman Qazi and various other health experts also spoke on the occasion and called for improvements in the health sector.