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15 % of total budget in Punjab on health: Minister

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LAHORE, Apr 04 (APP):Provincial Minister for Health Kh. Salman Rafique has said that 15 percent of total budget in Punjab is being spent on health sector and it has been doubled during current fiscal year.

Patients are moving towards Punjab public hospitals due to the devastated condition of public hospitals in Khyber

Pakhtunkhwa (KP), he said and added that Pakistan Terik-i-Insaf’s government has failed to establish single hospital having modern healthcare facilities.

He said that 30 to 40 percent patients getting admission in Children Hospital Lahore were from KP included patients of cancer, heart and other diseases.

Similarly, he said, a large number of patients from KP were getting medical treatment in the public hospitals of Punjab including Victoria and Civil Hospitals of Bahawalpur, Nishtar Hospital, Cardiology Institute and Burn Center in Multan, government hospital of Darya Khan and Cardiology Institutes of Lahore, Faisalabad and Rawalpindi.

The Minister further maintained that “Tabdeeli Sarkar” is planning to cut down Rs. 3 billion from the Health Budget in upcoming fiscal year. During current fiscal year, KP government had allocated Rs 12 billion for health sector but this time the government intended to allocate just Rs 9.2 billion, he said and added that it seems that health is not the priority of KP government as no new projects are in government’s consideration except the construction of burn centers and cardiology laboratories in DHQs and THQs in upcoming budget.

Contrary to this, imparting the best health facilities is the first and foremost priority of government of Punjab, he said and added that during current fiscal year Rs 263.22 billion had been allocated for health sectors that is 15.4 percent of total budget rather government of KP had allocated 66.50 billion that is only 11.03 percent of total budget.

He said that it’s the consequence of such “Tabdeeli” that hospitals in big cities like Peshawar and Mardan have turned into the heaps of garbage. Despite getting the standard of Medical Teaching Institution, Lady Reading Hospital Peshawar has yet deprived of the facility of blood bank, he added.

Similarly, Kh. Salman Rafique alleged, Mardan Medical Complex which is considered one of the biggest hospitals in KP has become a source of spreading jaundice due to the lack of disposable syringes and cannulas.

He said in Lakki Marwat, the medicines with ‘Not for Sale” tags are being sold in private medical stores and markets, adding that the medicines for diabetes, rabies and snake bite are not available in hospitals.

“The only public hospital of Havelian has no basic health facilities at all. DHQ hospital in Chitral is in dilapidated state. Junks of heaps could be spotted everywhere in DHQ and mother and childcare centers, 3 to 4 patients are adjusted on one bed, there is only one nebulizer for all the children,” he added.

He said, regardless of repeated announcements by the KP government, burn unit in Saidu Teaching Hospital is still under construction, adding that Kohat, which has been awarded the status of Model City by the KP government, has the most tumbledown DHQ Hospital having no medical equipment and surgical wards.

Masses of KP ask Khan Sahib to tell them the actual meaning of Change, he said.

The Provincial Minister for Health said that on the other hand, real change can be witnessed in Punjab under the leadership of Khadim-e-Ala. Health facilities were accessible for a common man in the province resultantly Pakistan Development Updates last year’s report has mentioned Punjab the best among all the provinces in regard of health indicators. “Keeping in view the public

health as its first priority the government has increased twofold the health budget which was 66 billion in the last year but now it’s 112 billion rupees from which an amount of Rs 20 billion was allocated for construction of districts and tehsil headquarters hospitals.

And the provision of 116 mobile health units has also included in it. District health authorities have been set up on local and district level,” the minister said.

He said that infrastructure and machinery of five drug testing laboratories has been formed according to international standards, adding that Punjab Agriculture, Food and Drug authority with the amount of Rs 2 billion is also included the concerns of CM Punjab.

He said that crackdown against spurious drugs was still on in the whole province and steps were being taken for the renewal of GMP inspection of medicines manufacturing units and digital mapping and drug sale license of all medical stores and pharmacies. More than 1 billion rupees had been spent for health of mother and child in 11 districts for the last previous year, he said and added that all the public hospitals and BHUs have been equipped with the latest medicines worth Rs 10 billion which used to be unapproachable for the common man in the past.

Kh. Salman Raffique concluded that another remarkable achievement of Khadim-e-Ala Punjab is the establishment of Pakistan Kidney and Liver Transplant Institute and Research Centre which is coming up with the state of the art health facilities to the poor patients. Likewise more than 60,000 needy women in villages are getting benefit from safe and free deliveries with the rural ambulance service, he added.

He said that an amount of Rs 16 billion has been allocated on priority basis for providing free of cost medicine in all the hospitals of the province, and Rs. 500 million for providing free of cost hepatitis medicines to the patients.

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