KARACHI – The much-trumpeted project called “Public-Private Partnership Contracts in Health” whereby at least 39 public sector health facilities, located in different parts of Sindh, were to be handed over to different non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for maintaining and improving health delivery system remains in the doldrums despite a lapse of three months since signing of an memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the NGOs selected for the purpose.
Under the MoU signed at a ceremony held on March 18, 2015 at CM House and attended by Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, the health facilities were supposed to be handed over to partners (NGOs) within one month of signing of the MoU by provincial health department.
However, neither the health facilities could be handed over to NGOs by now nor a block allocation of more than Rs500 million which was to be released by the government to the concerned NGOs in the last quarter of outgoing financial year (2014-15) for the undertaking facelift work of the health facilities could be materialized.
The selected NGOs had offered to maintain, improve and run health facilities while another NGO was assigned the task of running community ambulance service.
Office-bearers of different NGOs complained that although they had written letters to the provincial health secretary Saeed Ahmed Mangnejo with a request to expedite the matter, no positive response has been received, so far.
According to sources, the well-reputed NGOs selected for the purpose include IHS and Merlin International, HANDS, etc.
HANDS chief executive officer Dr Shaikh Tanveer said that provincial health department has not yet issued the required administrative and financial notifications. “We are constantly in touch with high officials of provincial government, but the matter was being delayed on one pretext or the other,” he deplored.
Merlin International’s programme manager for Sindh, Mansoor Ahmed Baloch, regretted that although government assured that the health facilities designated to the organization will be handed over within one month, no progress have been made in this regard.
However, provincial health secretary was optimistic that the issue will be resolved shortly.