Punjab allocates Rs. 97.3B for Health Sector with more focus on prevention


South Punjab gets Rs. 1.48 Billion health initiatives

Punjab allocates Rs. 97.3B for Health Sector
with more focus on prevention

Punjab Reproductive, Maternal, New Born and
Child Health Authority being established

Drug testing labs. planned at Multan, Rawalpindi, Lahore while
Rs. 4 Billion allocated for ‘Pilot Health Insurance Card Scheme

LAHORE: In the current budget the Govt. has added some new schemes in the budget proposals for the 2013-14 fiscal, with a total allocation of Rs. 97.37 billion for the province’s health sector, focusing more on preventive side than the curative. Of these, Rs. 4 billion has been allocated for ‘Pilot Health Insurance Card Scheme’ that will be introduced initially in four districts of Punjab. Another major initiative will be the proposed ‘Punjab Reproductive, Maternal, New Born and Child Health Authority that will be established following necessary legislation.
Some other major schemes for which allocations had been made include Integrated Reproductive Maternal New Born, Child Health and Nutrition Programme, for which an amount of Rs.2 billion has been earmarked. The programme will be run in all 36 districts of the province. Under a scheme new ambulances will also be purchased. Besides, a sum of Rs. 150 million has been allocated for the establishment of three drug testing labs, one each in Multan, Rawalpindi and Lahore and food testing labs in Faisalabad and Rawalpindi.
The total health sector allocation of R. 97.37 billion includes the expenditure on development and current sides of the budget, both at provincial and district levels. Of them, an allocation of Rs.44.62 billion was made for the health department which was 25 per cent more as compared to the Rs. 35.65 billion made for 2012-13 fiscal. Major allocations were for ‘hospital services’ which include current expenditures on autonomous medical institutions. The allocation for hospital services has been increased to Rs. 42.90 billion for the 2013-14 fiscal as against Rs32.81 billion made for FY-2012-13. This translates into an increase of Rs. 10.08 billion for provision of health services in accordance with the government’s priority. The government also increased allocation for the provision of drugs and medicines to Rs. 7.62 billion from Rs. 5.84 billion allocated for the purpose in FY- 2012-13. In addition to these allocations, Rs.3 Billion have been earmarked for health development budget under Punjab Millennium Development Goals Programme as a separate financing item.
In addition through a phased programme, it will be ensured that all district governments spend at least 30 per cent of their health sector budget on non-salary purposes i.e. provision of medicines, purchase of necessary equipment etc. An additional conditional grant of Rs. 500 million will be provided during FY-2013-14 to district governments for the purpose. It is expected that the programme, to be completed in next 4-5 years, will go a long way in provision of better health services in the province.
As per the budget documents the government has proposed Rs. 200 Million for the cleanliness in some rural districts as a pilot project to fight communicable or infectious diseases. Similarly, a huge amount of Rs. 10.87 Billion has been allocated for the installation of water filtration plants in the rural districts, besides completion of some ongoing schemes. In addition to this, the government has included 26 new development schemes in the ongoing 112 projects. Of these, 35 ongoing and 11 new projects will be completed during the FY-2013-14.
The Government intends to give priority to South Punjab where Rs1.48 billion health initiatives will be undertaken. Allocations had been made for the establishment of burn centers at the Children’s Hospital and Nishtar Hospital, Multan, cardiology department of Bahawal Victoria Hospital (BVH), Bahawalpur, a 410-bed hospital in Bahawalpur district, establishment of Sheikh Zayed Medical College in Rahim Yar Khan and to run Thalassemia schemes in the BVH.

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