Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan has approved the new organizational structure of the Directorate General of Health Services with the aim to enhance the working capacity of the health department, ensure efficiency in administrative and operational matters of health service delivery outlets and improve the overall services delivery at the grassroots level. The approval was given during a meeting held here with Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan in chair, said a press release issued here on Sunday. Beside, the Provincial Health Minister Taimur Saleem Jhagra, Health Secretary Imtiaz Hussain Shah, Secretary Finance Aatif Rehman, Director General Health Services Dr Niaz, other concerned officials also attended the meeting. Under the new organizational structure, Additional Directors General will be posted at the regional level and Deputy Directors at the divisional level besides certain changes in some of the administrative positions in the office of Director General Health Services. According to details, new posts of Additional Director General South, Additional Director General Center, Additional Director General Hazara and Additional Director General Malakand have been added to the existing structure of the Directorate General. Similarly, one of new posts of Deputy Director for each division under the regional additional director general has also been created in the new structure. Posting against the newly created positions at regional and divisional level will be made from amongst the existing strength of the Directorate General and no fresh hiring will be made for the purpose. The regional and division level set up aimed at improving health services delivery in healthcare facilities at the district level by ensuring effective monitoring of these healthcare facilities, improving their day to day management and enhancing their capacities up to the desired level. Briefing the meeting about the role and responsibilities of the Additional Directors General to be posted at the regional level, it was informed that the Additional Directors General to be posted at regional level would be responsible for the recruitment, transfers, postings and promotions of health employees’ upto Grade 15 at regional level. Further, they will act as reporting officers for the District Health Officers and Medical Superintendents in their respective regions and will be empowered to take disciplinary action against any employee at the region level. It was further informed that availability of medical equipments required in all health centers at the region level, close liaison with Health Management Committees of individual healthcare facility, implementation of prescribed quality standards in services delivery in hospitals, cleanliness and waste management, Identification of issues at individual hospitals and their timely solution, preparation of action plans for hospitals in consultation with concerned Medical Superintendents and its implementation and submission of regular reports to the high ups regarding the overall performance of hospitals in their respective regions will be the main responsibilities of the regional level ADGs. The meeting also reviewed the overall performance of the health department, and it was informed that after the extension of Sehat Card Plus Scheme to 100 per cent of the population of the province, there was a significant increase in the admission ratio of patients in government hospitals. Admission ratio of patients in Zone-1 hospitals was five thousand in November 2020 which has increased to twelve thousand in March 2021, admission ratio in Zone-2 hospitals was two and a half thousand in December 2020 which has increased to eight and a half thousand in March 2021. In January 2021, the number of admissions in Zone- III hospitals was 8,000 that has increased to 16,000 in March, while in February 2021, the number of admissions in Zone 4 hospitals was 2,000 which has increased to 3,500 in March 2021. It was informed that inter hospital referral of patients had also improved significantly after the Health Department’s ambulance service was handed over to Rescue 1122. Regarding the steps taken to increase the capacity of hospitals for Corona patients, the meeting was informed that within the last two weeks, the number of HDU and ICU beds in government hospitals in the province has been increased by 766 whereas, during the last one month, testing capacity for Corona suspects was increased by five thousand tests daily and at present nine thousand tests were being conducted in the province on a daily basis. Addressing the meeting, the Chief Minister termed the strengthening of health sector as the top priority of his government and said that the provincial government was taking result oriented steps to strengthen the health care system and all available resources were being utilized for the purpose with the aim to strengthen the entire health service delivery system on modern lines to enable it to effectively deal with contemporary challenges and improve the service delivery up to the public expectations. He directed the health department officials to pay special attention to strengthening the healthcare system at the grassroots level so that primary and secondary healthcare facilities are available to the people at the local level, and thus pressure of patients on tertiary care hospitals is minimized.