LAHORE: After failure of the existing healthcare system, the Punjab government has established district health authorities (DHAs) all over the province under direct administrative control of newly appointed deputy commissioners (DCs). According to a notification issued by the Punjab Local Government and Community Development Department, deputy commissioners, former district coordination officer (DCOs) have been appointed administrator of health authorities.Under these DHAs health bodies, technocrats are given a major role to run the administrative system of healthcare facilities, including teaching hospitals, district headquarters (DHQ) hospitals, tehsil headquarters (THQ) hospitals, rural health centres (RHCs), basic health units (BHUs) and maternal and child health centres. A chief executive officer (CEO) of the authority shall be deemed to be a technocrat member and act as its secretary. The chairman and vice chairman would also be technocrat members. The authorities were set up under the Punjab Local Government Act 2003.According to the local government law, the DHAs would be responsible for monitoring all health facilities in Punjab as well as other health-related issues, including construction of new hospitals, dispensaries, basic health centres, new blocks at hospitals, construction of new departments, promotions of doctors and nurses, suspensions, budget approval, enrolment of new staff and monitoring of health centres in districts. According to the notification, the government shall constitute a committee, which shall make recommendations for appointment of chairman, vice chairman and CEO of authority.The authority shall meet at least six times in a calendar year and shall implement minimum service delivery standards (MSDS) for establishment of health facilities, standard operation procedures (SOPs) for different departments and standardised medical protocols for all medical and surgical interventions.It said that the post of EDO (health) would be replaced by a CEO, a Grade-18 officer, who might be appointed for three years. “He/she must be 35 to 55 years old with an MBBS degree and masters in public health or equivalent diploma/degree and a minimum of 15 years of experience of working at public or private healthcare sector out of which minimum five years of experience must be in a senior management role in healthcare management.”The DHAs will comprise members of the district administration, local bodies’ representatives and doctors. They will be vested with special powers to take action against those not performing their duties according to rules and regulations.The rules notified by the Punjab government were cited as the Punjab District Authorities (Composition) Rules 2016.The documents said these members should be general or non-technocrat and technocrat members. The general or non-technocrat members will be indirectly elected from the local governments under First Schedule of the Act as determined under Rule 4 on the basis of the proportion of population of a district.The government shall, by a notification, determine composition of the authority for each district specifying the number of indirectly elected members and the nominated technocrat members. The number of indirectly elected members from local governments (Metropolitan Corporation) shall not exceed 20.Similarly, the number of members from municipal corporations and district councils will also be determined according to proportion of the population.