KARACHI: The Sindh government has allocated at least Rs 114.14 billion for the health sector in the budget for the Fiscal Year 2019-20.
While presenting the budget, Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said that health is a high priority with the Sindh government. Many major health institutions/hospitals, including SIUT, Indus Hospital, JIMS, JPMC, NICH, NICVD with its 8 Satellite Units and 9 Mobile Chest Pain Units in Karachi have been provided funds both through grants as well as through development financing.
The current revenue expenditure of the Health Department, excluding medical education, has been significantly increased by 19 percent from Rs.96.8 billion in 2018-19 to Rs.114.4 billion in FY 2019-20. For FY year 2018-19, Rs.13.5 billion was allocated for 170 schemes and by June 3, 2019, Rs.4.61 billion were expended against a release of Rs.8.01 billion. 12 schemes are likely to be completed by June 2019 including a 50 bedded medical & surgical ICU; casualty & OPD departments at the Liaquat University Hospital and Ghulam Muhammad Mahar Medical College Hospital, Sukkur.
The monitoring & surveillance of health systems have been strengthened and several multi-disciplinary services like pediatrics cardiology have been added to SIUT; vaccinators’ strength enhanced to 2,768. The recruitment of additional 1733 vaccinators is in the process; TB Control Program established 350TB DOTS Clinics; installed 110 machines for rapid diagnosis of TB and drug resistance within two hours, in public sector facilities.
The health sector is being provided similar allocation as the out-going year of Rs.13.50 billion. Few of the major targets envisaged are procurement of machinery/equipment for different departments at the CMC Hospital Larkana at an estimated cost of Rs.600 million, community mental health services program in Sindh with an estimated cost of Rs. 275.00 million to improve the mental health services, maternal and child health care center at Jamshoro with grant assistance of JICA, a 200- bedded hospital has been planned for Sukkur either through PPP framework or through development financing.
The chief minister said that with completion of 43 schemes during 2019-20, service delivery would be further strengthened at all tiers. The effort would be reinforced through more effective implementation of preventive programmes, including Immunization, AIDS, Hepatitis, Malaria, TB Control, Blindness Control etc. for which a provision of Rs. 4.08 billion has been earmarked.
Murad Ali Shah said that the Sindh government with its hard work and dedication have made JMPC, NICVD and NICH state of the art institutions with huge budgetary allocation directed for their improvement and expansion. He added when Federal Government had handed over NICVD to Sindh government its allocation was Rs.355 million in the year 2011-12 and his government has gradually increased its allocation to Rs.8.876 billion in 2018-19.
Furthermore, the CM also said that an allocation of Rs 1 billion is earmarked for an endowment fund for the welfare HIV/AIDS infected persons during the financial year 2019-20.