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June 18, 2020

With Rs19bn increase, Sindh allocates Rs139bn for health, fighting covid-19

Karachi

June 18, 2020

Presenting a coronavirus-focused budget in the Sindh Assembly on Wednesday, Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said they had allocated Rs139.1 billion for the health sector for the fiscal year 2020-2021, which was Rs19 billion more as compared to the previous year.

“The budget of the health department is divided into two major segments, i.e. health services and medical education. The budget estimates for the health department for the financial year 2019-20 was Rs120.486 billion, which has been increased to Rs139.178 billion for the next financial year 2020-21,” he said in his budget speech.

Giving details of the allocation for health, the chief minister said Rs7 billion had been allocated for nine vertical programmes to control polio, TB and HIV/Aids, as well as for the lady health workers programme, hepatitis control, expanded programme for immunization and other programmes.

“These vertical programmes have also been shifted from development to the regular budget in next financial year. Main features include Rs559.4 million for the TB Control Programme in Sindh, Rs 5.5 billion have been allocated for a multi-sectoral accelerated action plan for the reduction of stunting & malnutrition in various departments including health.”

Shah maintained that Rs1.2 billion had been allocated for the Lady Health Workers (LHW) Programmes, Rs1.9 billion for the Prevention and Control of Hepatitis Programme in Sindh, Rs267.9 million for the Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health Programme, Rs2.3 billion for the EPI Programme, Rs1 billion for the 200-bed Infectious Disease Control Hospital at NIPA, Karachi, Rs1 billion for the upgrading and making the newly completed 22 health facilities operational.

Similarly, Rs234.6 million have been kept in the budget for upgrading healthcare services at the Lyari General Hospital, and Rs521.1 million have been allocated for taking over the health facilities of proscribed organisations in Sindh.

“During the financial year 2019-20, Rs4 billion have been allocated as special grant for the Indus Hospital Karachi. Out of which, Rs2 billion are for its current operation while the remaining Rs2 billion for the expansion of charitable health facility,” the CM said, adding that Rs1.5 billion had been allocated for the purchase of plants and machinery in health facilities in Sindh, while Rs250 million had been allocated for the purchase of furniture and fixtures for health facilities.

He maintained that Rs2.5 billion had been allocated for Public Private Node of the health department, while Rs3.6 billion had been allocated for the Institute of Pir Abdul Qadir Shah Jillani, Gambat.

He maintained that Rs1.7 billion had been allocated for the SMBB Trauma Centre Karachi, while Rs 300 million had been allocated for the Institute of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences Hyderabad. He added that Rs600 million had been allocated for the Jacobabad Institute of Medical Sciences.

The Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT) would be given Rs5.6 billion in the next fiscal year, the CM said, adding that Rs300 million had been allocated for the Shahdadpur Institute of Medical Sciences, Rs6.5 billion had been allocated for PPHI Sindh, while Rs500 million had been allocated to the National Institute of Blood Diseases (NIBD), Karachi.

He further said that Rs900 million had been allocated for the Child Life Foundation, Rs100 million for the Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Karachi and Rs365 million had been allocated for the Sindh Healthcare Commission, Karachi.

Shah said that grant-in-aid for various health activities in health department secretariat had also been proposed for the next financial year and the main allocation included Rs312 million as grant-in-aid for remuneration of polio workers in Sindh, Rs200 million for grant-in-aid for the Kidney Center Karachi, Rs431.1 million as grant-in-Aid for medicine of blood cancer patients, Rs160 million as grant-in-aid for the treatment of thalassemia in various health facilities of Sindh, and Rs73.6 million as grant-in-aid for the ANF (MATRC) centers (Karachi, Hyderabad & Sukkur).

Similarly, Rs80 million as grant-in-aid has been earmarked for strengthening of chemico bacteriological labs at Karachi and Sukkur, Rs100 million for the Cancer Foundation, Rs383.8 million for extension of the CML Project for other cancer diseases, Rs150 million for dialysis in various health facilities, Rs100 million for the Fatimid Foundation Sindh, Rs1 billion for endowment for the welfare of HIV/Aids patients, Rs121.1 million for the NIMRA Jamshoro.

The CM noted that Rs100 million as grant-in-aid has been kept for Nigahban to maintain the Surgical Unit at the Civil Hospital Karachi, Rs150 million for the Patient Welfare Association Karachi, Rs250 million for the Thar Foundation for the establishment of a hospital in Islamkot, and Rs183.6 million for the purchase of Hepatitis B Vaccine (Birth Dose).

Three Karachi hospitals

The chief minister said that it seemed the federal government had not grasped the concept or the efficacy of teamwork.

“At a time when our frontline workers and our hospitals need the most support, they have instead made a bid to take over the running of three of our major hospitals,” he said and added that “this is an already failed bid that they also made earlier and one that we had hoped would not be repeated.”

He added: “Moreover, Rs5.1 billion have been allocated for the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) Karachi while Rs5.1 billion have been allocated for the Sindh Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (SICVD) including its satellite centers in Lyari, Karachi, Larkana, Sehwan, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Tando Muhammad Khan, Shaheed Benazirabad, Khairpur, Mithi and Karachi.”

He said that the hospitals the federal government was trying to illegally take control over had been hailed as success stories. “The federal government should know that we will not sit idly as they attempt to bring our hospitals down to the level of the ones they operate,” he said. “We had hoped that personal petty agendas would have been ignored at the time of COVID-19, but we have been disappointed.”

COVID-19 response

The chief minister said Rs1 billion had been earmarked for the pandemic response in 2020-21, while Rs5 billion had been allocated for the COVID-19 response, adding that Rs5.39 billion foreign-funded projects were also included in the health sector.