ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan recently appointed Dr Faisal Sultan as the new Special Adviser to Prime Minister (SAPM) on National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination with immediate effect.
A notification issued to this effect from the prime minister’s office maintained that Dr Sultan will hold the status of a federal minister.
He has been serving as the Prime Minister’s Focal Person on COVID-19 and is also the CEO of Shaukat Khanum Memorial and Cancer Hospital.
Dr Sultan has been appointed the new SAPM on Health following the resignation of Dr Zafar Mirza from the post on July 29.
Earlier, just after resignation announced by Tania Aidrus, Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health Zafar Mirza recently resigned from the cabinet citing the “ongoing negative discussion about the role of SAPMs and criticism on the government” as the reason for his decision.
In a series of tweets, SAPM Mirza stated that he came to “Pakistan on a personal invitation of Prime Minister Imran Khan after leaving the WHO. I worked hard & honestly. It was a privilege to serve Pakistan.”
Mirza said that he was satisfied that he was leaving at a time when COVID-19 has declined in Pakistan as a result of a grand national effort.
Earlier, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Digital Pakistan Tania Aidrus announced that she has submitted her resignation to PM Imran Khan in “greater public interest” over her “citizenship” status.
Earlier this month, the government had released the details of assets and nationalities of special assistants and advisers to Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Profile of Dr Zafar:
Dr Zafar Mirza is the Director of Health System Development at the WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean. He is a medical doctor with post-graduation in Public Health in Developing Countries from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a clinical stint in mental health. Before his current responsibility, e was leading the Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property team at WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, for 6 years. He also served as a Regional Adviser for Essential Medicines and Pharmaceutical Policies in the WHO Regional Office for 5 years before moving to WHO headquarters. For 12 years before joining WHO, he was a founding Executive Director of a civil society organization – The Network for Consumer Protection in Pakistan. He has a long-standing experience of working at national, regional and global levels in public and private health sectors. He has extensively travelled, published and contributed to improving public health in many countries.