Punjab Health Minister Dr. Yasmin Rashid inaugurated new office of the Punjab Blood Transfusion Authority here on Friday. Present on the occasion were Secretary Specialized Healthcare and Medical Education Amir Jan, Secretary Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department Sarah Aslam, Additional Secretary SH&ME Department Dr. Asif Tufail, Director General Health Services Punjab Dr. Haroon Jehangir, Secretary PBTA Dr. Shahnaz Naseem, Professor Javed Chaudhry and board members of the PBTA.
The Health Minister said, “I appreciate the team of the Punjab Blood Transfusion Authority especially Dr. Shahnaz Naseem for taking the organization to the right track. No illegal or unregistered blood bank can be allowed to operate in Punjab. New measures are being introduced to ensure the safe blood transfusion in Punjab. The staff of public and private blood banks shall be provided training. The PBTA has been reinvigorated and Dr. Shahnaz has made this feat possible. A complaint cell has been set up at the PBTA as well. The administration of Teaching Hospitals shall be responsible for blood banks in their respective premises. We are trying to promote private sector through support of Punjab Health Foundation. We want private sector to come forward and set up latest modern blood banks. All blood banks are being monitored and unregistered blood banks shall be closed down. The PBTA has done inspection of 1097 blood banks and efforts are being made to register all blood banks in the next six months. Safe blood transfusion is integral to surgeries and no compromise can be made on this. Staff has been hired on merit and I urge people not to take blood from anywhere except approved blood banks.”
Later, responding to queries of journalists, the Minister said that corruption shall not be tolerated at any level and inquiries and investigations have been initiated on all allegations. She said Pathology labs are fully equipped in Teaching Hospitals and their blood banks are working smoothly. She said Corona vaccination campaign is being run very successfully in Punjab. She said even the opposition had appreciated the efforts to control the Pandemic. She expressed appreciation for the Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department for vaccinating 5 lakh people in one day. Punjab has done round-the-clock vaccination at many centers and the NCOC has appreciated Punjab for the same. She said investigations into local purchase is underway and Secretary SH&ME Department Amir Jan is personally supervising them. She said public money shall be spent on public alone and government hospitals are given billions for medicine purchase.
To another question, she said Punjab currently 70% cases of delta variant as it has fast transmission and more infectivity. She urged people to take preventive measures including use of masks. She said daily on average 17,000 tests are performed and for one COVID-19 positive person, 15 persons are tested.
Secretary P&SH Department Sarah Aslam said that that blood banks shall be made operational at DHQ and THQ level hospitals. Secretary SH&ME Department Amir Jan said that Teaching Hospitals have been asked to monitor their blood banks.
Secretary PBTA Dr. Shahnaz Naseem said that blood transfusion monitoring process has been put on right track on directions from Health Minister and the PBTA shall ensure safe blood transfusion in Punjab.
Later, the Health Minister chaired a meeting of the PBTA and gave away certificates to outstanding employees of the PBTA. Shields were presented to Secretary SH&ME Amir Jan and Secretary P&SH Department Sarah Aslam.