LAHORE: The government has reserved Rs166 billion for health in the budget announced on Friday. Of this, Rs61.76 billion will be spent on non-development expenditures.
According to budget documents, Rs10.82 billion will be spent on the provision of free medicines and Rs1.5 billion on dealing with emergencies and epidemics.
Rs3 billion has been allocated for the construction of Pakistan Kidney and Liver Institute in Lahore, Rs2.5 billion for the Health Insurance Card scheme, Rs1 billion for the expansion of Recep Tayyip Erdogan Hospital in Muzaffargarh, Rs1 billion for pursuing health schemes related to the Department for International Department, the World Bank and millennium development goals, Rs150 million for various population welfare programmes and Rs300 million for extended health coverage for minorities.
The government plans to set up medical colleges in Bahawalnagar, Bhakkar and Attock; a cancer hospital in Lahore; a cancer treatment facility in Multan; Children’s Hospitals in Gujranwala, Rawalpindi and Bahawalpur; a King Edward Medical University’s campus in Muridke and the Institute of Pediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery at the Children’s Hospital, Lahore.
Missing facilities will be provided at family health clinics and family welfare centres run by the Population Welfare Department.
A recently formed Punjab Social Protection Authority intends to launch several schemes to provide conditional and unconditional cash subsidies to the poor. In this regard, Khidmat Cards will be issued to the deserving people. Rs1 billion has been allocated for the purpose.
Rs11 billion has been reserved for the Saaf Pani Company tasked with conceiving, planning, designing, executing and managing water supply schemes. Rs24 billion has been allocated for ongoing and new water supply and sanitation schemes.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 13th, 2015.