Shahbaz’s health plan: Adding insult to injury

Published: February 1, 2011

Sharif’s ill planned health policy has added to people's growing miseries.

The Punjab government has failed yet again to address the problems of dealing with emergency situations, especially when it comes to treating the injured at hospitals after terrorist attacks.

Lahore has witnessed plenty of blasts and suicide attacks in recent years. And the casualties seem to be rising due to inefficiencies in rendering emergency aid, and due to a lack of trauma centres.

While many die on the spot, a majority of the victims are rushed to emergency wards of teaching hospitals where they either eventually succumb to injuries, or suffer life-long disabilities – both of which in most cases are avoidable.

Following the blast at Karbala Gamay Shah in September 2010, around 150 injured people were rushed to the Mayo Hospital, one of Lahore’s largest hospitals, where around 12 people were reported to have died due to multiple factors including lack of aid, equipment and senior doctors.

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s ill planned health policy has only added to the miseries. Sharif, instead of establishing trauma centres in city hospitals or providing adequate facilities, has started a mobile health unit project worth billions of rupees. Interestingly, the project is being run by a private equipment supply company that possesses no prior experience of providing health services.

Health experts have termed Sharif’s project a “political point scoring” ploy that was launched for his publicity in the health sector.

A physical trauma centre in hospitals can possibly save the lives of a large number of injured blast victims. Personnel of each centre can be trained for dealing with blast-related injuries such as fractures, burns, and head and limb injuries. The trauma centre should be provided X-Ray machines, burns units, critical life saving drugs, surgical instruments and surgeons, trained staff and an antiseptic environment.  Compared  with mobile health units, these trauma centres can be far more efficient. Sharif should reprioritise of fund allocation for emergency aid, especially there is a dire need.


Abdul Manan

A Lahore based reporter for The Express Tribune.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • parvez

    Good write up.
    Its simple, Shahbaz Sharif has lost it. Recommend

  • Sana Saleem

    I don’t think Punjab Government has achieved some thing considerable up till now. They speak alot but show nothing !Recommend

  • Ali

    It’s the usual Sharif brothers talk. Not long ago the elder Sharif, Nawaz, claimed that if he had not been ousted from power Pakistan would have been an Asian tiger on par with South Korea.
    Well why didn’t someone ask him what happened to education standards, health standards, economic growth etc during his 8 years in power?
    They all worsened and if the PML-N come into power they will do the same! History will not look at any democratic party of Paksitan in a favourable light. They have all failed and continue to fail. The above also applies to the PPP IMO.Recommend

  • Shahryar Ahmed

    What do you expect from the Sharif Brothers? When he was talking about the Asian Tiger, he mistakenly took Pakistan’s name, because whenever they have come into power, all they have done is make themselves Asian Tigers (ridiculously rich).

    Secondly, these brothers have some kind a fixation or fetish about tigers? If I remember correctly didn’t one of the junior Sharif’s had a pet Tiger, a few years back? I think one of the rare Siberian ones?

    All Hail Democracy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Recommend

  • Patriot

    really unfortunate yaar but whatever we say and do these brothers are the next rulers of pakistan!Recommend

  • Ali

    Unfortunately you might be right. They might be our next leaders and that’s what makes it worse, like the script of Greek tragedy bound to repeat itself. I was hoping that Musharraf wasn’t going to let the Sharifs back, or confiscate all of their assets. He had him on serious charges after preventing his plane from landing amongst others. Atleast that would be one less corrupt ruler.
    Unfortunately the lure of power and money got to Musharraf too, as well as some generals.Recommend

  • Babar Khan Javed

    Wow. I am. So shocked. To find out. A member of public service. Failed in his duties. That never happensRecommend

  • shamim ahmad