Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Health Dr Zafar Mirza said that the Centre will take over the administrative control of three major Karachi hospitals — the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) and the National Institute of Child Health (NICH) — within few months.
Dr Mirza said the federal authorities have been holding consultations with the Sindh government on the smooth transfer of these hospitals.
In July last year, the federal government had handed three public sector hospitals back to the Sindh government months after it was ordered to take control of the hospitals by the Supreme Court in January 2019.
After the ruling that had asked Centre to take over these hospitals, the Sindh government had approached the apex court with a claim that since the subject of health had been devolved to provinces under the 18th Amendment, the management of the hospitals should also rest with it.
However, the court had rejected the provincial government’s plea, saying the SC couldn’t leave “poor at the mercy of the provincial governments”. The Centre had taken control of the port city’s three major hospitals in May following the verdict.
Following the decision, Advisor to Sindh Chief Minister Murtaza Wahab said that the decision of handing the ownership back to the province adheres to the 18th Amendment as mandated by the Constitution.
After the June 12 federal budget, Pakistan People’s Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari had also criticised the federal government for taking charge of the Karachi hospitals, but not allocating the required budget.