The Sindh health department could not meet its targets for a dozen of its prevention and treatment programmes due to budgetary cuts in the outgoing fiscal year, said Sindh Secretary Health Inamullah Dharejo at a press conference on Monday.
According to Dharejo, the finance department released only Rs900 million against the allocated sum of Rs1.7 billion. The projects affected by the slash include hepatitis, tuberculosis, HIV, malaria, measles and reproductive health, among others.
Dharejo said that the cutback also delayed completion of some 158 development schemes for which Rs17 billion were earmarked in the annual development programme of fiscal 2012-13. “The health department received only Rs7 to Rs8 billion.” The budget recommendations for fiscal 2013-14 submitted by the health department demand an outlay of Rs18 billion under the ADP, he informed reporters.
The secretary attributed the existence of polio cases to the community resistance and negligence of doctors about keeping the medicines in cold chain. He confirmed that two polio cases have emerged so far this year from Dadu and Karachi.
After taking more than 600 lives, according to unofficial count, in the eight districts of upper Sindh, the measles viral has now begun to spread in Mirpurkhas, Jamshoro and Badin, says Dharejo. The secretary said that door-to-door immunisation will be started in the southern Sindh.
He added that the corruption and maladministration case of Civil Hospital Hyderabad will be referred to the anti corruption department and National Accountability Bureau (NAB). The medical superintendents during whose tenure the alleged embezzlement took place will come under the investigation.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 18th, 2013.
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