KARACHI: From last year, there has been an 8.4 per cent increase in the expenditure for the health sector. Around Rs45.7 billion have been set aside, as compared to last year’s Rs32.7 billion, for health care spending.
However the increase might not mean much since this year, the province has complete control on district-level spending. Previously, the districts used to have their separate budgets, in addition to the provincial budget assigned for the health sector.
Another interesting fact is that despite the overall increase in the health budget, percentage allocated for annual development schemes remain the same as last year’s – at five per cent.
Around Rs34.7 billion have been allocated for 97 ongoing expenditures, while Rs11 billion have been set aside for 59 new projects. Last fiscal year, Rs6 billion were allocated for new projects.
About Rs2 billion were set aside as grant-in aid for Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplant (SIUT). A separate children’ hospital will also be built at the SIUT premises in Karachi with an additional cost of Rs200 million.
The budget allocates Rs1 billion to the chief minister’s Initiative for the Prevention and Control of Hepatitis and Rs50 million have been set aside for extending the services of in Karachi and Sukkur.
Around 16 new projects have been announced for teaching hospitals and 35 for expansion and improvement of other government hospitals at the district level. Schemes were also announced for diseases, which are usually neglected at state level, include autism and blood disorders. The money will also be used to buy fibro-scanning equipment for district hospitals and 10,000 leukemia patients will also be given free medicine.
About Rs100 million were set aside to begin a province-wide ambulance service, and another Rs100 million have been allocated for multiple screening programmes for breast cancer and drafting laws to curb the spread of thalassemia.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 12th, 2012.
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