A mere 15.2% of the health sector’s annual budget of Rs8.2 billion has been utilised in the first six months of Fiscal Year 2015-16. The amount allocated by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government may have been substantial, but the amount it spent remains a problem.
Official documents reveal around Rs4.3 billion was released – over 51% of the total allocation. However, only Rs1.26 billion of this released amount was spent between July 1 and December 31. A majority of the newly approved health projects in the Annual Development Programme (ADP) were initiated, but not a single penny was spent on them.
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Old and new health projects
The documents revealed work on 16 basic health projects was under way and Rs1.16 billion was allocated for them. Rs867 million of the amount was released, but only Rs168 million spent.
The projects included rural health centres, basic health units, civil dispensaries, health management information system improvements, social health protection initiatives, independent monitoring units, civil works, mobile medical services, improvement and rehabilitation of existing health facilities, a health sector reform unit and other projects.
It was stated around 13 new basic health schemes were included in the ADP and Rs240 million was allocated for their establishment. However, not a single paisa was spent as not one was released for these new schemes in the first half of FY 2015-16.
[Not] big on building
The official documents read 28 different schemes in the general hospital category were also approved which included civil hospitals, tehsil and district headquarter hospitals (DHQ) including one in Torghar, blood transfusion centres, a Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Hospital and other schemes. A sum of Rs1.15 billion was approved for schemes and Rs845 million—around 73%—was released for them. However, a little more than Rs479 million, or half the released amount, was spent.
Other new schemes, around nine in number, were also approved in the ADP for which Rs400 million was allocated and while a fraction of the amount was released for these projects, again not a single paisa was spent.
Currently, 17 schemes related to medical education and training are ongoing for which Rs1.38 billion was approved and Rs728.314 was released. However, only 23% of the released amount (Rs327 million) was used up.
None of the Rs97.7 million for new schemes under this particular head was spent during the first six months of FY2015-16.
Even though only roughly 38% infants missed routine immunisation in the province, a mere Rs0.24 million of the allocation of Rs13.233 million was spent.
Minister for Health Shahram Khan Tarakai could not be reached for his version despite repeated attempts.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 2nd, 2016.
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