Monday October 25, 2021

Health outlay to surge 85pc next fiscal year

June 09, 2021

Islamabad: Claiming the economy is picking up steam after successfully battling a pandemic-induced stiff fiscal headwind, the federal government plans to dole out around 85 per cent more money for its health initiatives in the upcoming financial year than the outgoing one.

According to the 2021-22 Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) documents to be unveiled in the National Assembly on June 11, the national health services ministry will get Rs25.972 billion in the next fiscal beginning on July 1 against the current one’s Rs14 billion for Islamabad’s PIMS and Polyclinic hospitals, National Institute of Health, programmes against tuberculosis, malaria and HIV/AIDS, and other federal health subjects in the post-devolution regime.

Of the outlay, which is below one per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) against the World Health Organisation’s target of six per cent, the major chunk i.e. Rs15.336 billion, including Rs2.719 billion foreign aid, will go to 25 ongoing projects, while Rs10.636 billion will be spent on the new ones totalling 30.

With the pandemic-triggered economic crisis forcing the federal government into focusing its attention on the completion of the ongoing projects, the outgoing year’s budget has peanuts (17 per cent of the total allocations) for new health projects.

As for the ongoing health initiatives to be funded next year, the largest amount from the budgetary allocations i.e. Rs5.6 billion is meant for the Sehat Sahulat Programme, a flagship initiative of the PTI government to provide free medical treatment to underprivileged segments of society.

It will be followed Rs2.206 billion for the extension of the intensive care department of the PIMS Mother and Child Health Centre and Children Hospital.

Major among other ongoing projects to be financed in 2021-22 are the establishment of 200 beds hospital in Islamabad (Rs2 billion), construction of a 200-bed Centre of Excellence for Gynaecology and Obstetrics in Rawalpindi (Rs1.639 billion), replacement and upgradation of HVAC plant room equipment and allied works in PIMS (Rs879 million), upgradation of the rural health facility and strengthening of the district health department (Rs713.15 million), construction of King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud Hospital in Tarlai area on the outskirts of Islamabad (Rs510 million), establishment of four basic health units in Islamabad (Rs420 million), replacement and purchase of equipment at Federal Government Polyclinic (Rs200 million), strengthening of points entry of Pakistan and Directorate of Central Health Establishments, establishment of a community health centre in Islamabad’s Bari Imam area and NIH Antimicrobial Resistance Containment and Infection Prevention Control programme (Rs150 million each), construction of a hostel for women doctors in PIMS (Rs139 million), upgradation of non-radiation diagnostic services in PIMS (Rs113.58 million), strengthening of Islamabad Polyclinic hospital’s ophthalmology department (Rs107.89 million), strengthening of Health Services Academy, Islamabad, establishment of safe blood transfusion services in Islamabad (Rs100 million each), and preparation of PC-II of the Federal Government Polyclinic-II in G-11/3 (Rs99.77 million).

A look at new health initiatives for the next year shows the largest part of funds (Rs3 billion) will be spent on PC-I of the Federal Government Polyclinic-II in G-11/3.

The other major funding includes Rs2 billion for the establishment of a 200 beds accident and emergency centre at PIMS, Rs1 billion for the development of Integrated Diseases Surveillance and Response System with the Public Health Laboratories Network and Workforce Development for transition of Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme at NIH, Rs707.4 million for the coronavirus emergency response and ensuring universal health coverage in Islamabad, Rs647.94 million for Up-gradation of Drug Testing Facilities in NIH Drugs Control and Traditional Medicine Division, Rs500 million for the enhancement and revamping of the health ministry’s IT infrastructure, Rs500 million for the replacement and purchase of equipment for Polyclinic, Rs482 million for the implementation of the National Action Plan on Population, Rs403 million for the procurement of MRI equipment for PIMS Radiology Department, Rs400 million for the Gilgit-Baltistan Family Planning and Primary Health Care Programme, Rs399 million for the upgradation of Radiology Department at Shaikh Zayed Post Graduate Medical Institute, Lahore, Rs200 million for the strengthening of points of entry of Pakistan and Directorate of Central Health Establishment, Rs150.43 million for strengthening Polyclinic’s Ophthalmology Department, Rs150 million for the extension of PC-I (National MNCH Programme, Gilgit-Baltistan and Rs120 million for the strengthening of the emergency obstetric and neonatal care facilities in Bhara Kahu.

In total, the PIMS will receive Rs5.399 billion, district health department Rs4.193 million, Polyclinic Rs3.253 billion and NIH Rs1.701 billion in the next fiscal.