LAHORE: Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz has endorsed various proposals to rescue medical institutes from administrative and financial crises.
The Chief Minister chaired a meeting of unions from five public sector medical universities. The most significant development of the meeting was that the CM endorsed a proposal to carry out “the first third-party validation of the accounts of all institutes”, including Fatima Jinnah Medical University, Lahore; Rawalpindi Medical University; Faisalabad Medical University; Nishtar Medical University, Multan; and University of Child Health, Lahore.
Minister Khwaja Salman Rafique, the vice chancellors of these universities, representatives of the health department and other officials attended the meeting.
A senior official told Dawn that the Chief Minister has approved third-party validation of the accounts of all institutes under the administrative control of the Punjab Specialist Department of Health and Medical Education. He said another important decision was the release of funds for the completion of the mother and child hospital at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital. He ordered the Ministry of Finance and other authorities to guarantee the amount that was about to expire.
The official said that Hamza Shehbaz had ordered the vice chancellors of the medical universities to hire a reputable accounting firm already prequalified by the P&D Council for the purpose of carrying out a detailed annual audit of the institutes’ accounts for the financial year 2021-22. The audit should cover mandatory areas, including institutes’ assets and liabilities, income and expenditure, institutes’ authorized procedures for the use of financial resources, institutions’ performance in relation to the use of financial resources, major and minor financial violations, and recommendations to strengthen financial control.
The CM further ordered that the firm be hired by the end of July and that the audit report be presented to the medical colleges board/union.
Separate agenda items submitted by the Vice-Chancellors were also approved at the union meeting.
As for the University’s Institute of Child Health, he said, the meeting approved Rs 160 million to be disbursed/used under various headings including procurement of transport, computer equipment, furniture and books/magazines. These are mandatory requirements to get approval from the Higher Education Commission and the matter had been pending since Lahore Children’s Hospital was granted status as the first public sector medical university for children. .
The union approved the purchase of machinery and equipment under the ADP program at Allied Hospital and the contract for security services from February 1 to June 30, 2022 (extendable for one year) at DHQ Hospital . It also approved the janitorial services contract for DHQ hospital and the CT Scan repair and maintenance contract with spare parts except consumables amounting to US$69,600 per year.
On NMU Multan, the meeting approved the appointment of three new union members as the three-year term of the previous members was completed. Similarly, the union has also granted permission to start the Anatomy MPhil program and the two-year Medical Radiology and Diagnostic Diploma program at NMU.
Several proposed health plans and programs from Rawalpindi Medical University and Fatima Jinnah Medical University have been endorsed. The union has approved Rs76.2 million for Benazir Bhutto Hospital, Rawalpindi, for the establishment of a neonatal block with an intensive care facility in the pediatric department.
Posted in Dawn, June 27, 2022