KARACHI:The provincial cabinet met under the chairmanship of the Sindh Chief Minister and approved the procurement of 60 ambulances, including 30 mobile medicals, cleared the breastfeeding law to ensure breastfeeding of children for three years, and upgraded posts of JPMC from grade 9 to 14 and onward.
The meeting was held at CM House and was attended by provincial ministers, advisors, special assistants, chief Secretary Sohail Rajput, AG Sindh Hassan Akbar, PSCM Fayaz Jatoi, and others.
Procurement of ambulances: Minister Health Dr Azra Pechuho briefing the cabinet said that there was a need for the procurement of 60 ambulances, including 30 mobile medical vans and five mobile laboratories for which Rs2 billion were required.
The cabinet was told that the purpose of procuring ambulances, medical vans, and laboratories was to link Gaucher’s Diseases (GDs) with Primary / Secondary care; rapid medical assessment and treatment; transport patients, supporting mass casualty incidents.
It was pointed out that Mobile medical units would be utilized in settings where medical facilities were limited or inaccessible. The mobile Laboratory would be used in disease outbreak investigation, rapid diagnostic testing, surveillance and monitoring, environmental testing, and support for field hospitals and medical teams.
The ambulances would be included in the fleet of Rescue 1122. The cabinet approved the request and funds for the purpose.
Breastfeeding law: The cabinet discussed and approved the Sindh Protection and Promotion of Breast Feeding and Young Child Nutrition Act, 2023.
Minister Health Dr. Azra said that it was expedient to ensure safe and adequate nutrition for infants and young children up to the age of 36 months by promoting protecting and supporting breastfeeding, promoting healthy diets to prevent obesity and non-communicable diseases and regulating the marketing and promotion of designated products including breast milk substitutes, and of feeding bottles, valves for feeding bottles, nipple shields, teats, and pacifiers.
Under the act, the government would establish a 22-member board under the chairperson Standing Committee on Health, Sindh Assembly. The functions of the board include framing regulations, advising standards of designated products, and proposing guidelines to the government to establish an effective Monitoring System as per WHO/UNICEF protocol.
The cabinet was told if any business or any person on behalf of the business contravenes any provision of this Act would be punished as per law. There would be a provision of appeal against the punishment in the law.
Specialist cadre: Minister Health Dr. Azra Pechuho told the cabinet that there was a sanctioned strength of 1,975 Specialist Cadre Doctors (BS-18), against which only 947 were working and 1,028 were vacant. She added that her department had sent a requisition of 1,096 posts of specialist cadre doctors, BS-18, to the Sindh Public Service Commission. The SPSC recommended only 68 and still 1,028 posts were vacant.
The cabinet was told that at present 2,240 medical officers of BS-17 were post-graduated in different specialties. The services of those medical officers of BS-17 could be utilized as specialists by posting them on the post of specialist (BS-18) by making them a post of specialist as floating posts BS-17/18.
Minister Health said that the medical officers, BS-17, having postgraduate degrees in the relevant field could be posted against the posts of special cadre B-18, to curtain the shortage of doctors for the smooth running of hospitals in the province.
The cabinet approved the proposal and directed the health department to promote the postgraduate doctors who have completed their length of service and make necessary changes in the recruitment rules so that they could be posted against the specialist cadre in grades BS-18.
The cabinet also approved the creation of 455 posts of new specialties posts in teaching hospitals, including physical specialties, surgery specialties, allied specialties, and other human resources. These positions are for grades BS-17, 18, and 19.
Upgradation of JPMC posts: The cabinet after discussion approved the proposal of the Health department and upgraded the posts of Accountant from grade BS-9 to BS-14, cashier, accountant, cashier, telephone operator, receptionist, and board operator from Grade BS-7 to BS-14. The post of stenographer of BS-16 was upgraded to BS-17 and the post of Steno Typist from grade BS-14 to BS-16.
The cabinet, acknowledging the services of Dr. Sikandar Mendhro named Civil Hospital Badin after late Dr Sikadar Mandhro.
Hindu Marriage Act: Minister of Minorities Affairs Gianchand Israni presented the draft Act in the cabinet. He added that the act was meant to provide a formal process for the registration of marriage for Hindus.
The cabinet pointed out that the court has given guidelines for the marriage act, therefore the cabinet despite approving the act in principle, constituted a committee to make the law in accordance with the court guidelines. The committee comprised Minister Excise and Taxation Mukesh Chawala, Minister Excise Gianchand, Advisor Law Murtaza Wahab, and Advocate General Hassan Akbar.
500 more buses for Karachi: Minister Transport Sharjeel Memon through a video link briefing the cabinet said that his department will induct 500 more buses to induct in Peoples Bus Service to facilitate the poor segment of the society at large.
Mr. Memon said that 13000 to 15000 buses were required to meet the transport requirement of the city. He added that 1,039 buses of Peoples Bus Service were on the road and still there was a shortfall of 8,961 buses.
Tax service: Transport Minister Sharjeel Memon presented another proposal of 200 Electric Taxis for Karachi; of them, 50 taxis would be operated as pink Taxis. The cabinet told the transport department to prepare the feasibility of the buses and taxis and present the same to the P and D department for further action.
Workers Welfare Fund Act: Minister Labour Saeed Ghani presented an amendment in Section 9 of the Sindh Workers Welfare Fund Act, 2014 under which the position of Secretary/Chief Executive Officer of the Worker Welfare Board has been declared as a floating post of BS-19 or BS-20.