Published Date: Jan 25, 2017
Punjab lawmakers form cross-party caucus on health
More than twenty members of Punjab Assembly have formed a cross party Parliamentary Caucus on Health to respond to health related issues of the people of the province.
The announcement was made at the conclusion of provincial consultation on health which also had a significant representation of district councils across the province.
The consultative meeting ‘Empowerment, voice and accountability for better health and Nutation’, was held by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) in coordination with EVA-BHN here on Wednesday.
After a detailed consultation session, Dr.Nosheen Khalid (MPA), Abdul RazaqDhilon (MPA), AwaisQasim (MPA) and NajmaAfzal (MPA) while representing all the members of the parliament present at session, announced the formal formulation of Provincial Parliamentary Caucus on Health.
Dr. Najma Afzal on the occasion said that introducing necessary legislation and improved implementation on existing policies would be the top most priority for this shared platform of the parliamentarians in the provincial assembly. She added further that the members of the caucus on health would work on budgetary recommendations while demanding more allocations in the health sector.
Dr. Nosheen Khalid (MPA) said that working together for a common cause and to provide better health facilities for the people of province would be a matter of pride for all the members of the parliamentary caucus. Awais Qasim MPA while sharing his views said that health was the fundamental right of the people and through this platform; we would strive to make it a landmark step to ensure this right of the people.
Abdul Razaq Dhilon on the occasion said that we expect that the parliamentarians in Punjab Assembly would make it a vibrant platform to discuss health related issues of the people of province. He said that the parliamentary caucus on health would raise the genuine demands of the people at grassroots level during the parliamentary business. The members of the parliament lauded the support lent by SDPI and EVA-BHN for this crucial initiative for the people of the province.
Dr. Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Executive Director SDPI earlier said that poor health facilities, malnutrition and lack of drinking water were the contributing factor behind the low IQ level of the children of this generation. He said that health problems should be dealt with a multi-sectoral approach whereas private sector was also needed to approach to play its role for improving health facilities under its corporate social responsibilities.
He said that (lack of) capacity of institutions delivering health facilities was major challenge that needed to be addressed. He said that formulation of parliamentary caucus on health could play major role in tackling capacity related issues and for improved service delivery at district level.
Shabaz Bokhari while representing EVA-BHN presented a detail outlook of the engagement with public representatives at grassroots level. He said that it was aimed to raise awareness on common health related issues and to find solutions while raising collective voices of the people. MoazamBhatti earlier explained various dynamics of the health related issues in the province and need for a shared platform to resolve these issues.
Ijaz Hafeez, Deputy Mayor Lahore Metropolitan welcomed the step and said that the parliamentary caucus was needed to raise genuine demands of the people at grassroots level. MPAs and representatives of district governments belonging to different political also expressed their views during the detailed consultative meeting.
The participants highlighted a number of health related issues such as lack of doctors, lack of medicines and other health facilities that people face in less developed areas. They said that they would provide their full support to parliamentary health caucus in terms of making them aware of real issues of the people at grassroots level.