Pakistan Railways has made a plan to open its hospitals to the public, offering advanced medical services to both its employees and people across the country. This decision, set to take effect in January, comes under the guidance of the Minister for Railways, Shahid Ashraf Tarar. An official from the Ministry of Railways shared this information, emphasizing the minister’s approval of opening Cairns Hospital, Lahore, for the general public within a specified timeframe.
The official highlighted the Minister’s acknowledgment of Pakistan Railways’ management and expressed the commitment to enhance health services in the railway sector. To achieve this, the expertise of private health professionals will be sought, and the department will explore measures to upgrade and improve hospital services. The official clarified that public-private partnerships would not be pursued for this purpose. The department has instructed relevant officials to present a business model to generate revenue from Railway Hospitals.
In response to a query, the official mentioned that Pakistan Railways has initiated the modernization of five major railway stations nationwide, aiming to create commercial hubs for business activities and enhance passenger facilities. The stations in focus are Karachi, Lahore, Faisalabad, Peshawar, and Quetta. Additionally, the government has allocated Rs50 million to the Public Sector Development Programme over the past three years for the renovation and upgrading of railway stations.
The official stated that the Central Development Working Party has approved the renovation of railway stations, and the department has already completed the upgrade of six stations, including Bahawalpur, Raiwind, Narowal, Okara, Sahiwal, and Gujranwala. The primary objective of these upgrades is to improve passenger amenities, modernize the appearance of the stations, and facilitate various aspects such as waiting halls, prayer areas, operation offices, water filtration plants, toilets, passenger shelters, platforms, ticket counters, parking areas, and external development work. Pakistan Railways is committed to providing maximum facilities to the public and enhancing its overall performance.