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Gov’t has no intention to privatize public sector hospitals but to bring reforms as per int’l standards: PM

PESHAWAR, May 18 (APP): Prime Minister Imran Khan, addressing a fund-raising Iftar Dinner here at Shuakat Khanum Memorial Hospital (SKMH), Saturday said the government had resolved to improve public sector hospitals as per international standards and there was no plan to privatize them.
He was of the view that a handful of doctors were out to sabotage the heath reforms undertaken by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government.
The prime minister said reforms would be introduced by rectifying administrative and management system of the government hospitals which were currently in poor state of affairs.
He directed the KP chief minister to hold talks with protesting doctors to resolve the matter amicably.
He also asked the doctors whether they themselves were satisfied with treatment facilities at the government hospitals.
The prime minister said he was well aware of the fact that health delivery system in the public sector hospitals was not that of international standards. His government wanted to introduce the health system which was enforced in the SKMH, he added.
He said false notions were being propagated about the privatization of government hospitals and declared in clear terms that there was no such plan under consideration.
“We are just rectifying administrative and management system of the public sector hospitals which has nothing to do with privatization.”
Referring to the doctors’ protest in Peshawar, he said the government would not step back from introducing the reforms in the public sector hospitals at any cost. A few doctors were politically motivated to sabotage those reforms, he added.
He resolved that the government would not yield to any pressure and continue to improve standard of those hospitals on the pattern of SKMH where people were getting best healthcare facilities and treatment.
He also thanked donors for generously contributing towards the cancer hospital, which, he said, provided free treatment to 75 percent cancer patients.
The prime minister recalled that he had Rs10 million in pocket when he started the Rs 700 million worth project of SKMH.
He said Pakistanis were a very generous nation and God-fearing with the firm faith that Allah Almighty would reward them for providing donations to the cancer patients.
He said it was the nation that helped build a cancer hospital of international standards in Pakistan 30 years back, when one could not imagine that cancer patients would have such a quality cancer hospital in their country.
The Peshawar SKMH would provide the best cancer treatment facilities not only to the people of the country but those of Afghanistan also.
Expressing confidence in the people of the country, he said, “This nation is so generous that I can run the government with their donations too.”
He said once the people were of the view that cancer was incurable disease and its patients were destined to die, but by the Grace of Allah, now cancer patients were being treated at state-of-the-art SKMH and then restarting a normal life.
In fact, he added, 90 percent people could not afford cancer treatment. The SKMH was the first private hospital of the world that provided free treatment to the cancer patients, he said.
The prime minister also thanked donors for contributing for the Peshawar cancer hospital, saying it would also provide treatment to the patients from Afghanistan. He said surgery would be started in the hospital soon.
He also asked the people to pray for successful oil and gas discovery from Karachi deep sea exploration, which, he said, would cater to the national energy requirements for next 50 years. The nation would soon hear a good news to that effect soon, he added.
At the fag-end of the fund-raising programme, people donated over Rs70 million for the SKMH.

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