KHANEWAL: Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar’s visit to Mian Channu tehsil headquarters (THQ) hospital on Tuesday became controversial when death of a two-year-old Thallessemia patient was associated with his security protocal.Staging a protest with the body of two-year-old Komal in front of the hospital, her parents maintained that they were not allowed entry into the hospital which was locked from inside during the CM’s visit for security reasons. The protesters said that the security staff did not let them enter the hospital. The family wrapped up the protest when the authorities convinced them to send the child’s body for an autopsy. Speaking to the media, the child’s parents said they would wait for the autopsy report to take further action. Meanwhile, the family’s version of the death was contradicted by chain of events narrated by witnesses, hospital staff as well as the Chief Minister’s Secretariat. Importantly, however, the versions received from all three of these sources were in contradiction to one another too.The THQ medical superintendent told Daily Times that doctors at the hospitals had already examined the child by the time the chief minsiter arrived. He said the child was serious and she was referred to Nishter Hospital in Multan. “She died of blood deficiency,” he said. Several witnesses Daily Times reached out to insisted that the child was in the emergency ward when the CM arrived. They said CM Buzdar visited the child as well and inquired after her health, and added that she could have died due to suffocation because a large crowd had gathered inside the ward during the visit.Meanwhile, a handout issued by the Punjab government claimed that the child had died a day earlier. It said that no girl child died at the THQ during the CM’s visit, adding that in fact the heirs of a deceased child who had died a day ago met CM Buzdar when he visited the facility. However, the handout also said that a committee had been constituted to ascertain facts and submit a report in 48 hours. Separately, taking notice of the incident, Khanewal Deputy Commissioner Ashfaq Ahmad Chaudhry also constituted an inquiry committee comprising of the Mian Channu assistant commissioner, the THQ MS and the Health Deputy District Officer. Speaking to the media, Chahudry said that the child was given adequate treatment but she died of blood deficiency. However, he said that action would be taken against any official found negligent in view of the committee report.Later in the day, CM Buzdar visited his close friend Advocate Malik Masood Awan at the District Bar Association and offered condolences on the death of Awan’s father Sher Mohammad Awan. Buzdar also visited a private hospital Fazal Baig Welfare Trust in Mohsin Wal and inspected its various wards. The owner of the hospital, Rana Muhammad Khan, has announced to donate the facility to the provincial government. Speaking on the occasion, the owner said that he would continue to provide Rs2.5 million every year to meet the facility’s operational cost. The CM appreciated the gesture and said that the government would make all out efforts to run the hospital smoothly. Buzdar stressed that his administration would pay special emphasis to the health sector. “People will witness change in government hospitals now,” he said. The chief minister also visited Chak No. 2 Tulamba and the residence of his father-in-law and uncle Sardar Aslam Khan Buzdar located in 4/8R village.Published in Daily Times, August 29th 2018.