Turkey, Pakistan seek further cooperation in healthcare
KARACHI – Anadolu AgencyA top official from Turkey’s governmental relief body, the Turkish Cooperation and Development Agency (TİKA), met the chief minister of Pakistan’s Punjab province on Jan. 24 to discuss ways of extending Turkish cooperation in the fields of healthcare and skill development in the area, according to a statement by the Punjab government.
During the meeting in the provincial capital Lahore, Kamil Kolabas, adviser to the president of TİKA, and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif discussed issues of mutual interest, the statement said.
Turkey’s Health Ministry is already assisting the Punjab government with the establishment of an electronic hospital information system in provincial hospitals.
Sharif appreciated the assistance and investment provided by the Turkish government and private sector in different sectors in the province, saying Turkey’s cooperation, particularly in the skill development sector, would provide new employment opportunities to youths.
“Turkey has always stood alongside Pakistan in testing times,” Shahbaz said, adding that the two nations were like “one soul in two hearts.”
Kolabas, for his part, assured Shahbaz that Ankara would continue to assist the Punjab government in healthcare, skill development and other sectors, the statement added.
The Punjab chief minister also informed Kolabas that the Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Hospital, which is located in the remote Muzaffargarh district, was all set for a massive expansion with 400 new beds.
The Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Hospital Trust in Muzaffargarh, located 380 kilometers from Lahore, was given as a gift by Turkey to Pakistan around three years ago. It began its operations on July 14, 2014, with 60 beds; a year later, 40 more beds were added to the hospital.
The provincial Punjab government is now funding the expansion of the hospital, which provides free healthcare to all patients irrespective of their backgrounds.