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PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government is planning to take control of the directorate of health Fata in the light of the merger of tribal areas with the province.

“The former Fata health system is no longer an independent entity, therefore, it would be made part of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa after the passage of 25th Amendment by the government,” officials told Dawn.

A meeting to be held with Health Secretary Abid Majeed in the chair on July 2 will discuss the merger of former seven agencies of Fata into the province as they have become part of the province after the implementation of the law.

Meeting on July 2 to discuss ways for merger of tribal department with province

Officials said that a letter was sent by Dr Ayub Rose, director-general health services, on Tuesday that asked directorate of health of former Fata, agency surgeons, medical superintendents of the hospitals, programme managers and project directors to attend the meeting to discuss the merger plan with provincial health services in the fulfillment of the law.

The letter, addressed to health authorities of former Fata region, said that after the Constitutional Amendment of May 2018, the tribal agencies had been turned into administrative districts, which needed to be merged into the province’s health system.

It said that after the new development, KP had 32 districts that would be brought under the provincial director-general health in the light of the law.

Officials said that the proposed meeting would take into account the administrative matters and would make plan to make Fata’s health part of the provincial health system.

The meeting is aimed at devising a mechanism to bring both physical and operational integration with health department of KP.

The letter circulated to the relevant officials stated that all stakeholders were required to sit and make plan regarding health programmes, service delivery and strengthening of system for providing better health services to the people.

Officials said that the health department wanted to apply strategies to meet the international commitments made by the government regarding improvement in health services in the former tribal areas.

They said that they would also shed light on ways and means to apply provincial health strategy besides making efforts in line with National Vision 2025, Sustainable Development Goals (SGD-3) and Universal Health Coverage 2030.

The health authorities of Fata have been instructed to share complete information, including year-wise budget allocation during the last five years, list of all healthcare facilities in Bajaur, Mohmand, Khyber, Orakzai, Kurram, North Waziristan and South Waziristan in addition to information enlisting existing staff in the directorate and tribal districts, vehicle, purchases, IT and office equipment, machines, ambulances and medicines.

The health department would also take over the healthcare infrastructure that would be administered by director general health under the department of health, officials said.

The director-general has also asked to put on hold all intra-district transfers in former Fata region till further decision and approval of secretary health and DG health as per their respective jurisdiction after the merger.

No Memorandum of Understanding, negotiations or agreement should be signed or decided with any organisation, including provincial or federal NGOs, till the approval of the competent authorities, said the letter.

Published in Dawn, June 28th, 2018