ISLAMABAD: The government has earmarked Rs54 billion for the health ministry in the budget for the fiscal year 2017-18, an increase of 80 per cent from the Rs30 billion allocated for the ministry last year.
Initially, the finance ministry had said that it would allocate around Rs27 billion and it was feared that important programmes may suffer. But the finance ministry increased the allocated amount.
National health programmes
The federal government has earmarked Rs54.40 billion for 23 new and old development projects for the health ministry in the fiscal year (FY) 2017-18.
With polio one of the major issues still plaguing the country, the government has allocated Rs7.4 billion for the Expanded Programme on Immunisation under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP).
Further Rs7 billion have been set aside for the Prime Minister’s National Health Programme (Phase-II).
The National Programme for Family Planning and Primary Healthcare is set to get around Rs16.4 billion, while the National Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health Programme (MNCH) will get around Rs1.04 billion.
The government has pledged Rs684 million for the PM’s programme to prevent and control malaria. A further Rs3 million have been set aside for the PM’s National Health Programme.
Funds worth Rs7.705 billion have been set aside for the Population Welfare Programme of provinces while separately it has allocated Rs273 million for the population welfare programme of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Rs1.187 billion for Gilgit-Baltistan and Rs79 million for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata).
The government plans to build 46 new hospitals in various districts of the country under a programme which the prime minister announced last year. The government has pledged funds for the programme under various heads such as Rs8000 million allocated for the Prime Minister’s Programme for New Hospitals (Phase-I) while Rs1.317 billion have been marked for the programme to build 46 new hospitals, master planning, design, medical equipment planning, and construction supervision services to build 500, 200 and 100 bed hospitals across the country.
The government has pledged funds for 12 new health projects in the capital under the Public Sector Programme (PSDP) allocation for the Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD).
In total, the government has allocated about Rs7.635 billion for new and old projects.
Of this, Rs1.90515 billion have been set aside for 14 old and new development projects for two major government hospitals. Moreover, Rs2.03 billion has been set to pay for recurring costs of Polyclinic while and Rs3.7 billion have been set for the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims).
The government has allocated Rs400 million for the extension of the cardiac centre block at Pims and Rs250 million for the establishment of a neurosciences centre at the same hospital.
To build a female doctors’ hostel at Pims, the government has earmarked Rs100 million.
Among new projects, Rs199.76 million have been pledged for establishing a shredding, sterilisation and medical waste disposal unit. Moreover, Rs198.13 million have been set aside for upgrading non-radiation diagnostic services at Pims.
Likewise, the government has earmarked about Rs167 million for the extension, feasibility studies and upgrading existing power supply distribution to Polyclinic.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 27th, 2017.