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Sindh Govt increases health sector budget by 19%

KARACHI: The Sindh Government significantly increased the health budget by 19% from Rs96.8 billion in 2018-19 to Rs114.4 billion for the fiscal year 2019-20. The Chief Minister stated that the health sector was given priority in the annual budget.

CM Sindh, Syed Murad Ali Shah, in his budget speech, said that health is a major priority for the government of Sindh. Many prominent health institutions/hospitals in Karachi, including the SIUT, Indus Hospital, JIMS, JPMC, NICH, and the NICVD with its eight satellite unit and nine chest pain units, have been provided with funds; both through grants as well as development financing.

He said that the current revenue expenditure of the health department, excluding medical education, has been significantly raised by 19% from Rs96.8 billion in 2018-19 and to Rs14.4 billion for the financial year 2019-20.

For the year 2018-19, Rs13.5 billion was allocated for 170 schemes, and by June 3rd, 2019, Rs4.61 billion were expanded against a release of 8.01 billion. Twelve schemes are likely to be completed by June 2019.

Several multi-disciplinary services, such as paediatric cardiology, have been added to the SIUT. The vaccinators’ strength has been enhanced to 2,768. The recruitment of additional 1733 vaccinators is currently underway. The TB Control Program established 350 TB DOTS Clinics and installed 110 machines for rapid diagnosis of TB and drug resistance within two hours, in public sector facilities.

For ADP 2019-20, the sector is being provided with a similar allocation as the out-going year, of Rs13.50 billion. Few of the significant envisaged targets include the procurement of Machinery/Equipment for different departments at the CMC Hospital in Larkana at an estimated cost of Rs600 million and the Community Mental Health Services Program in Sindh with an estimated cost of Rs275 million to improve the mental health services.

The Maternal and Child Health Care Center at Jamshoro with the grant assistance of JICA, a 200-bed Hospital has been planned for Sukkur either through the PPP framework or through development financing.

The CM, in his budget speech, said that with the completion of 43 schemes during 2019-20, service delivery would be further strengthened at all tiers. The effort would be reinforced through more effective implementation of preventive programs, including immunization, AIDS, Hepatitis, Malaria, TB Control, Blindness Control, and others for which a provision of Rs4.08 billion has been earmarked.

Murad Ali Shah said that the Sindh government with its hard work and dedication had made the JMPC, NICVD, and NICH state of the art institutions with a substantial budgetary allocation directed for their improvement and expansion. He added that when the Federal Government had handed over the NICVD to the Sindh government, it’s budget allocation was Rs355 Million in the year 2011-12. His government has gradually increased its allocation to Rs8.876 billion in 2018-19. The NICVD is providing timely and accessible cardiac services to the people of Sindh at their doorstep free of cost.

Earlier, there were six chest pain units functional in Karachi. This year, three more units have been added in Karachi. The NICVD satellite centres have been established at Tando Muhammad Khan, Larkana, Hyderabad, and Sehwan in collaboration with the Government of Sindh. Four new NICVD satellite centres at Khairpur, Sukkur, Mithi, and Nawabshah have been established.

We have also improved infrastructure and service delivery at the JPMC considerably. The emergency department in JPMC and its CyberKnife Project has already begun functioning.

Significant Initiatives under the PPP include providing better facilities with experienced and professional management. The government handed over various health facilities of remote areas through the PPP Node to reputable partners likewise HANDS, Integrated Health Services (IHS), Medical Emergency Resilience Foundation (MERF), and the Indus Hospital for better treatment for the people of Sindh.

The Sindh government is providing Rs5.6 billion to the SIUT as a grant in the next financial year 2019-20. Considering the quality services of liver transplantation provided at the Pir Abdul Qadir Shah Jeelani Institute of Medical Sciences, Gambat, District Khairpur, the government has increased the grant by 60% from Rs2billion to Rs3.6 billion during the financial year 2019-20.

Considering the need for blood diseases treatment to the poor masses of the Sindh province, the Sindh Government has allocated Rs500 million for the financial year 2019-20. An allocation of Rs1billion has been earmarked for the endowment fund aimed towards the welfare HIV/AIDS infected persons during the fiscal year 2019-20.

June 17, 2019

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