A new day for health reforms in Punjab –
Punjab laid foundation for an “institution of future”
Lahore, Pakistan- Honourable Chief Minister Punjab formally launched the Punjab Public Health Agency on the occasion of the 2-day Human Development Forum organized by the Planning and Development Department here in Lahore on 13th February 2018. With the milestone decision of establishment of Punjab Public Health Agency, the Government of Punjab has once again taken precedence in keeping public interest as prime priority.
As an institute of excellence for advancement of public health, the PPHA aims to establish itself as the main source of technical and scientific expertise for the Departments of Health and serve as “trusted advisor” on matters pertaining to public health.
With the launch of the Punjab Public Health Agency today, the Honorable CM Punjab has laid the foundation stone of an “institution of future”. This is reflective of the government’s responsibility towards promoting and safeguarding the health and well-being of not only the present but also the future generations
The Government of Punjab has been diligently working on health reforms in the province. While the health of the population of Punjab has continued to improve in the last few years, new public health problems are emerging. Despite major overall improvements in the health of the population, health inequalities have widened, driving an increasing recognition of the wider, cross-cutting determinants of public health.
The political leadership has been very cognizant of the existing public health challenges, its determinants and associated prognostications for Punjab. Multiple efforts have been made to improve access and quality of care, basic infrastructure and facilities. Such measures are often touted as short-term “face-lifting and contouring” of the health sector.
The establishment of Punjab Public Health Agency is a mammoth reform initiated just a few months shy of the national elections, and defies the naysayers’ argument of the Government’s ‘short-sightedness’. Public health reforms take decades in shaping up and getting institutionalized. The impact of public health reforms is not seen before years, unlike input and process indicators tracking progress in real-time. Being fully aware of these facts, the Government of Punjab has initiated a long-term nation building effort, in the hope that this reform remains independent, unbiased and bipartisan, and becomes a beacon of hope and performance for other provinces in the country to follow. Establishment of the PPHA certainly takes the Government of Punjab one-step closer to the vision set out by Chief Minister Punjab, Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif for promoting and protecting the health and well-being of the People of Punjab. This approval is a classic example of successful transformation of political vision at the highest level, into a sustainable win for everyone in the country.