Posted by: Administrator | 10 September, 2006

President inaugurating CMH Lahore Medical College

November 2006

Governor Punjab, Mr. Khalid Maqbool, Chief Minister Pervez Elahi, Commander 4-Corp Lieutenant General Shafaat, Acting Principal CMH Medical College Nasreen Sharif Sahiba, Future Principal Mr. Afzal, Minister and General Officers, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.

It is indeed a privilege for me to be talking at this great occasion. I am glad to inaugurate CMH Lahore Medical College. Earlier, I had the privilege of going to Lahore Institute of Technical Education (LITE). It’s a Technical Skill Development Center established by 4-Corps. I am extremely glad that this initiative has been taken by 4-Core. I must comment on the vision and ideas of Corps Commander. I certainly encourage that we must go forward and focus on skilled labor. Army should contribute towards development of civilians in any sphere possible. It was Corps Commander’s idea of developing CMH into a medical college. Also establishment of Skill Development Center was his idea.

A lot of jobs would be created through short courses of technical education. Skill development in building and construction, welders, plumbers, masons, electricians and service industry like waiters, cooks, for women/ girls: beautician courses, tailoring, knitting, training Military Police security personals for their employment etc. This is real skill development for fast employment. I encourage the efforts that in such a short time period the medical college has been set up and the credit again goes to Corps Commander.

I think these two experimental institutions have been initiated very well. I get inspiration that may be we could replicate these them in other corps. I think all 10-Corps can develop/ replicate the same institutes and medical colleges so that we can provide facilities to the civilians, for their skill development and higher education. I would like to say that I told Corrps Commander that we have to have proper trainers to train in the Skill Development Center at LITE.

I am very glad to see collaboration between NVTEC (National Vocational Technical Education Commission) and Army being assisted by NVTEC in the background. They have trainers from Army and civilians as well. So, in the essence it is an Army organization and administration’s acumen backed up by NVTEC both focusing on producing skilled labor at the grassroots’ level. People from Balochistan, Dera Bhugti, FATA, Mohmand Agency, Azad Kashmir, earthquake effected areas and the mass coming from Punjab and Sindh. This is a great effort forward not only nationally integrating but also creating jobs. I am glad that the instructors are also 2 coming from Turkey. I am sure this experiment started by Commander 4-Corps would grow and would be replicated by others. Coming to the medical side; I would like to say that this institute is off course at the higher end. But I would also like to speak of medical facilities being provided at the lower end and I must give credit to Chief Minister of Punjab who has initiated a program. Initially, it was a cluster of three basic health units combined and one doctor looking after it effectively. Centralized authority was given to that doctor and medical services provided. Now he has changed the concept and I heard in yesterday’s presentation and I approve of this concept, that with more resources are now available to him.

Ladies and gentlemen we have to provide primary health care to the population of Pakistan. We are concentrating more on tertiary side with huge hospitals would be in cities like Lahore. Therefore, primary and secondary health is non-existent in rural areas. They have to come to hospitals all the way from their villages. And you can image who can afford to come to the hospital. We must concentrate on primary and secondary health care facilities. Primary means basic health units in rural health centers whereas secondary means Tehsil and District hospitals. Rural health centers have twenty bedded facility while Tehsil level hospitals have 50-60 bedded facility. District hospitals have about 150-200 bedded facility. Then you come to tertiary health care: at the basic health level, I am very glad that Corps Commanders are in the process of redoing all basic health units of rural health centers through NLC. He is paying Rs. 25,000 to each doctor who is employed in every basic health unit with free medicines available to patients. So, he is concentrating on basic health units having centers with computerized data available in his own secretariat. I think this is way forward of providing health care. They are doing in collaboration with NCHD (National Commission on Human Development), which has its team visiting every District of Pakistan by December. Government is financing, the Commission got Rs. 6 billion for doing this job and spreading out to every District. These teams of NCHD will be in a position to develop the capacity at the District level of EDO health and how he has to manage, developing the capacity at basic rural centers of delivering medical health care to the people. Therefore I am extremely pleased that CM is doing so much for his Province in lead with the NCHD and backed up by the centre Government governed by NCHD and that is how medical health care will be given at grass-root level and then we move on to Tehsil and District hospitals while simultaneously making it sure that expertise and specialist are available there.

This is 3-tiered medical health care to the people of Pakistan. The primary, secondary and tertiary health care. With the institutes like this coming up, we are producing doctors and technicians which Corps Commander is planning here like laboratory assistance etc. and nursing, which is also important. I know millions of nurses are required in US. If 3 there is trained nurse I know that she can draw about $ 50-60 thousand per annum. That is the availability of jobs in the market. We have to create the expertise. We have to learn this. I would like to use this opportunity also to talk of education generally. This is the key to progress of Pakistan.

Alhamdulilha we have revived the economy. And that forms the basis of everything. We have increased the budget of higher education to Rs. 22.6 billion from Rs. 6,000 million i.e. from Rs. 0.5 billion to Rs. 22.6 billion. We have increased the budget from 2.6% to 4% of GDP. This is not small money. Our GDP is $ 135 billion. If you convert it into cash, it means that it is an increase of Rs. 160 billion to the education sector. It is easier to say than have done but we have a will and the desire, because of which we have increased the funding for education. Then the Province has its own budget, which they should utilize. We need to look at the whole picture of education. We have to improve our literacy level which is very low. NCHD has opened 22,000 literacy centers and also feeder schools at the basic level, at the District level. Then we have to universalize education, meaning schools should be available to every child born.

Schools should be opened all over the Country for both boys and girls. Then we have to scale them up to middle school. We have to work out how many students will graduate from primary to middle, then asses how many middle schools are needed. Then from middle to the secondary level and asses how many secondary schools we need to every location of Pakistan. So that child can go progressively from primary to middle and then to secondary. From secondary instead of going to college, I must say most of them should go into the technical side. That is why we have created NVTEC (National Vocational and Technical Education Center). And we have taken it away from the Ministry of Education. This organization will open technical education centers in every corner of Pakistan down to the Union Council level, InshAllah in coming years.

 Then come on to the higher education. What we require is the synergy between the industry, higher education and the technicians. That is what the plan is. On higher education side there will be nine universities coming to Pakistan. These are being assisted by the countries like France, Germany, Sweden, Austria, Netherlands, South Korea, Japan, China; opening in all parts of Pakistan. Vice Chancellor of those universities will be of that Country, faculty would be drawn from Pakistan if not available from that Country. Syllabus and examination system will be of that Country. They will run it about 10 years. So, we will produce 1500 PhD’s every year in Pakistan by 2009 or 2010. When we have that basic source of PhD’s then we will take back that universities and then we will run it ourselves. This is the overall concept of education. That would ultimately give a boost to the industry in Pakistan, job creation and poverty alleviation in Pakistan and fighting extremism at the roots. It is poverty and lack of education which is sponsoring extremism and terrorism.

In the last, I would like to talk little about terrorism and extremism. It is a pity that a minority of people are doing these in the name of Islam. While Islam talks of 4 unity, integrity, talks of high values of characters. These minority people are obscurantist wanting Pakistan to move backward. We have to meet this threat. All these progress and prosperity will come to zero if we don’t deal with extremist and terrorist elements. We will deal with them strongly. There will be a writ of Government of Pakistan. Ladies and gentlemen, we have to fight extremism and terrorism for the sack of this Country.

And Elections 2007 are extremely important. We have to defeat the obscurantist forces. We have to defeat people who are extremist supporters or encourage extremism. We must cast our votes against the extremist. Cast the vote in favor of progressive and moderate people. I would like to congratulate the Commander 4-Corps for his excellent job in establishing this institute in a very short period of time and also welcome the students who joined this college.

Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen. Pakistan Paindabad!

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