LONDON: Leading British-Pakistani health professionals have appreciated the health reforms introduced by Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif to uplift the health care standards in the province, assuring to work with the Punjab government through human resource contribution and direct investments.
Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif conducted “Health Road Show” in London two weeks ago and held meetings with doctors, surgeons and health professional informing them about the ongoing health care reforms programme in Punjab, inviting them to become stakeholders.
A number of leading doctors, entrepreneurs and surgeons, working at senior ranks in the National Health Service (NHS) have said they will invest in Punjab’s healthcare sector as investors and healthcare providers.
Dr Suhail Chughtai, Orthopaedic Surgeon & Medico Legal Examiner, said the seminar arranged by the government of Punjab reflected a passionate commitment by Shehbaz Sharif towards raising the standard of healthcare in Punjab, host to 110 million Pakistanis.
“A well-structured series of informative short presentations by his healthcare team members stirred my passion but also appeared to ripple of wave of enthusiasm through the learned audience of over around 200 guests with a good number of medical professionals from UK. Several medical professionals including myself responded by offering practical help in various sectors which were given further clarity in the meetings that followed next day at the Pakistan High Commission.”
Abu Tarab Raja, who has property portfolios across the UK linked with healthcare centres, said he will invest in Punjab’s healthcare sectors because his experience of investing in Punjab has been very successful.
“I have invested in real estate in Punjab in the last eight years and I must say that transparency under Shehbaz Sharif is a reality. I have not faced any problems and as an overseas Pakistani I was assisted at all levels by the government officials and my investment has proved to be highly fruitful. I was impressed by the vision of Shehbaz Sharif and I am planning to open a mega–scale healthcare centre around Lahore on the model of NHS healthcare centres. Shehbaz Sharif’s team impressed all of us with the plan they have and I believe that’s the plan Punjab and Pakistan needs and it’s the personal involvement of Shehbaz Sharif that matters,” said Abu Tarab Raja.
Dr Sajad Ahmad of Association of Primary Health Care Professionals said his team was pleased to see the interest and keenness of the government to engage and invite UK based Pakistani medical professionals to contribute and invest in Punjab. “It’s a fact that NHS (UK) is functioning well because of the strong support of qualified general practitioners, giving the same attention and transfer of skill to Pakistan will no doubt bring a major change to healthcare,” he said.
Dr Azwar Bin Zahoor, a leading NHS doctor, said the Public Private Partnership (PPP) contracts are an excellent way of increasing collaborative working arrangements and a very efficient way of reducing the financial and operational risks by engaging different service providers. “I am really enthusiastic about the upcoming opportunities and would love to work in Pakistan,” he said.
Dr Turab Arshad Syed from Bath, Consultant trauma and Orthopaedic surgeon at Royal Free Hospital London NHS Foundation Trust, said development of MTCs (Major Trauma Centers) at Divisional level and MTUs (Major Trauma Units) at district level on UK hub and spoke model is the next evolutionary and logical steps to 1122. “This would provide a comprehensive and coordinated trauma patient care as road accidents/trauma are still number one cause of loss of working personnel and death in developing world.”
Dr Ashba H Jafri said: “Being a proud medical graduate from Punjab and having had the opportunity of working in Services Hospital Lahore, it was a delight for me to learn about all the hard work that has been put into improving Primary and Secondary healthcare in Punjab.”
Prof Dr Ishtiaq Rizvi, medical director of Capital Care Services, said the road show was “extremely successful” and Shehbaz Sharif’s passion and commitment was reflected throughout. He said he has plans to work in Punjab health sector. He added: “We proposed the development of a world class state of the art medical college and hospital management services.”
Originally published in