Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah on Thursday directed the provincial finance department to release Rs179 million for the Aman Foundation — an ambulance service facing a serious financial crunch.
The government assured the ambulance service that funds will be provided to it by next Wednesday, a statement issued by the chief minister's spokesperson said.
"On the directives of the chief minister, Health Secretary Saeed Awan directed the ambulance service to continue their services," it added.
Aman Foundation earlier used to run its ambulance operation through donations but it is now dependent on the provincial government.
According to the press release, the chief minister was developing a system under which the Aman Foundation would be able to receive its required funds in time.
Meanwhile, Sindh government's spokesperson Murtaza Wahab rejected the impression that the ambulance service was closed.
He said that a summary for funds had already been shared with the chief minister, and the funds will be released soon after approval by Shah.
"It is an excellent service for citizens," he said, adding that the Sindh government wants the foundation to continue facilitating citizens.
However, sources in Aman Foundation said that the ambulance service is currently suspended as the provincial health department failed to pay dues to the service.
According to the sources, the foundation and the government had signed an agreement in May under which the government had to pay Rs450m to the foundation. Under the same agreement, 60 ambulances of Aman Foundation were to run under Sindh Rescue and Medical Services. The foundation was unable to complete a fleet of 60 ambulances, the sources said.
They said that the service has been in hot waters since its CEO was arrested in London. The staffers associated with the ambulance services received only half of their respective salaries in July, the sources added.