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Tuesday July 16, 2024

Proposal of ending sales tax exemption for charitable hospitals criticised

By Our Correspondent
June 20, 2024
A representational image showing an inside view of a hospital ward. — AFP/File
A representational image showing an inside view of a hospital ward. — AFP/File

LAHORE: Pakistan Islamic Medical Association (PIMA) has expressed serious concern over the federal government's proposal to eliminate sales tax exemption for charitable hospitals in the upcoming financial bill for 2024-2025.

This proposal will negatively impact the healthcare sector, particularly the provision of medical services to underprivileged segments of society. In a statement released on Wednesday, PIMA Central President Dr Abdul Aziz Memon said the elimination of this facility will directly affect patient care. "It will significantly increase the cost of healthcare services, making it difficult for welfare institutions to continue their mission of providing affordable medical aid to the poor", he maintained.

The PIMA president said charitable hospitals play a crucial role in providing quality medical services to segments where such facilities are already limited. These institutions rely on tax exemptions to offer their services at low rates. The proposal to end this exemption will not only place an unnecessary financial burden on these hospitals but will also impact the patients who are already struggling to access basic healthcare services.

Dr Memon urged the federal government to reconsider its decision. "We call upon the government to recognise the significant role that charitable hospitals play in the healthcare system and to support them in their mission to serve the underprivileged segments of society," he added.