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January 18, 2020

PTI criticises Sindh govt for unavailability of essential medicines at govt hospitals

Karachi

January 18, 2020

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Karachi President and MPA Khurrum Sher Zaman on Friday expressed outrage over a reported shortage of medicines, surgical equipment and other medical supplies at government hospitals and health facilities throughout the Sindh province.

Criticising the Pakistan Peoples Party-led provincial government for its incompetence and the resulting the situation facing public hospitals, he said the dismal conditions of public health care in the province was shocking despite hundreds of billions spent each year on health.

“I demand that a forensic audit of health spending be conducted from 2008 onwards to ascertain where the money went,” he said. The lawmaker said that it was a disgrace that postponement of hundreds of surgeries were occurring on a daily basis, as public hospitals throughout the province were facing a crisis of medicines, surgical tools and other medical supplies.

“For the vast majority of Sindh residents, they rely on the public health care system for treatment and it is the incapability and corruption of the Sindh government that patients must purchase essential medicines, surgical instruments and other supplies from private medical stores and pharmacies.”

He urged PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah to take the health minister to task over this current crisis. On January 8 Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Pechuho had conceded that patients were suffering due to the unavailability of medicines at the public health facilities in the province. However, she had blamed the Central Procurement Committee, which was formed on court orders, for the delay in the purchase of medicines and medical supplies for the hospitals, and vowed to improve the system in the next fiscal year.

“It is very disappointing and sad that patients are being asked to purchase medicines and syringes from their own pockets because the Pakistan Peoples Party has a commitment with the people that its government will take care of their health needs. The delay in procurement of medicines is hitting poor people, which is very sad and disappointing,” Dr Azra told The News.