‘How can Centre manage city’s hospitals with low revenue?’

January 18,2019

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Two Sindh cabinet members have expressed concerns that the federal government does not have the resources or the capacity to manage Karachi’s three major public hospitals.

In view of the Supreme Court’s decision on the provincial administration’s appeal, the control of the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) and the National Institute of Child Health (NICH) will return to the Centre.

Talking to the media at the Sindh Assembly building on Thursday, Local Government Minister Saeed Ghani said the federal government’s performance in tax collection is going from bad to worse.

He said the Centre does not have the capacity and mettle to increase its revenue and fiscal resources, adding that it is quite alarming that in such a situation they are being given back the administrative control of three major public hospitals of the city.

The minister said the annual budget of the NIVCD and the JMPC was merely Rs700 million when they were controlled by the federal government, but when the Sindh administration took over them after the 18th amendment, their budget was increased to Rs13 billion. He said these public hospitals have been providing the best health care facilities not just to the people of Karachi but to patients coming from all over the country.

Ghani said the number of patients being treatment at these hospitals has increased manifold since the provincial government took over them, adding that after the Centre regains their control, the quality of services and performance of these institutions will be uncertain.

Talking to the media at the PA building separately, information and law adviser Murtaza Wahab said the Sindh government has established an excellent institution by expanding the NICVD in Karachi and setting up its satellite centres across the province.

He pleaded that the federal government should not let this institution close after regaining its control. He said everybody knows what condition the NICVD and the JMPC had been in until 2011, before the provincial administration took over them.

Wahab said the Sindh government will try to seek legal recourse to find a way out of the situation that has developed after the SC’s order. Meanwhile, Ghani said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s federal ministers have been particularly targeting those Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leaders who played an active role in the implementation of the 18th amendment.

He said federal ministers are engaged in undue verbal onslaught against PPP leaders Asif Ali Zardari, Raza Rabbani and Murad Ali Shah, who played an important role in the implementation of the 18th amendment.

He reiterated his demand that a joint investigation team (JIT) comprising members of the parliament, including the opposition legislators, should be constituted to investigate the case related to the undeclared assets of the prime minister’s sister Aleema Khanum.


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