With Pakistani missions spending Rs1.3 billion on the healthcare of government officials in the past 24 months, eyebrows have been raised over such lavish expenses on overseas treatment when the ministry of foreign affairs development funds stood at Rs200 million for 2016-17.
The time period from 2016 to 2017 witnessed a heavy burden in the shape of medical expenditures from more than a thousand diplomats and their families abroad, while the estimated expenditures remain around Rs12 billion for all 114 missions abroad in the current year, reported Geo News.
An individual spent Rs1.2 million on his medical treatment in the past two years, where the total expenditure of healthcare incurred Rs681,628,102 in 2016-17 and Rs603,240,199 in 2015-16, revealed official documents.
The ministry’s top management, however, did not share details of individuals with the parliament.
Interestingly, around 1,023 of total 11,657 Pakistanis imprisoned abroad could not get out of jails after they failed to pay small amounts of fine imposed by the respective overseas courts, a senior diplomat said requesting anonymity.
He further told that these poor Pakistani skilled workers collectively need around Rs300 million as a fine to get back to their homeland.
Many months ago, the country’s top court was also requested to take suo motu notice of the politicians, bureaucrats and their families seeking expensive medical treatment abroad at public expense. The treatment abroad of the VIPs on the recommendation of senior officials cost an estimated amount of Rs15 billion in the past three years, officials said.
According to official documents, Pakistani mission in New York (United Nations) spent Rs213 million on medical-care of its employees, Rs184 million in Washington and Rs42 million in New York on the medical treatment of employees in the past two years.
According to Geo News, the documents submitted before the parliament recently, revealed that an estimated Rs22 million was spent on the treatment of ailing employees of the mission in Tokyo, Rs16 million in Singapore, Rs13 million in Riyadh and Rs6 million in Toronto.
Foreign Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal, on the ever-increasing hike in specialised treatments, said, “these are routine medical expenses made as per rules.”