BUDGET 2022-23: Health ministry’s allocation gets a massive cut

Published June 11, 2022
Police personnel shift budgetary documents to the National Assembly before the presentation of the federal budget on Friday. — APP
Police personnel shift budgetary documents to the National Assembly before the presentation of the federal budget on Friday. — APP

• Budget reduced from Rs154bn to Rs19bn
• Rs1.5bn set aside for construction of Jinnah Hospital in G-11

ISLAMABAD: The proposed allocation for the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) has been reduced by eight times from Rs154 billion to only Rs19 billion for the fiscal year 2022-23.

According to the budget documents, Rs12.65 billion have been proposed in the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for 42 new and ongoing projects in the health sector of Islamabad.

In the financial year 2021-22, a hefty amount was spent on the procurement of vaccines, medical equipment and treatment of Covid-19 patients and an allocation of Rs154 billion was proposed for the upcoming fiscal year.

However, as the pandemic seemed to be subsiding and is well under control, a major cut was made in the allocation.

In his budget speech, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail claimed that the government was committed to improving the healthcare delivery system in the country. He said Rs24 billion will be used for the betterment in the health delivery system and diseases control and prevention. The minister said the amount will also be utilised for purchasing medical equipment, vaccination and improving the capacity of health establishments.

Moreover, an amount of Rs12.65 billion has been proposed in the PSDP for the completion of 42 new and ongoing projects.

Over Rs10 billion of the allocation will be utilised for 33 ongoing and over Rs2 billion for nine new schemes which have been included in the programme.

The documents showed that over Rs2 billion have been proposed for the Prime Minister’s National Health Insurance Programme and Rs1.5 billion for the construction of Jinnah Hospital in Sector G-11 Islamabad. Moreover, Rs800 million have been proposed to build a 200-bed accident and emergency centre at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) Islamabad.

In addition, Rs500 million has been proposed for the development of integrated disease surveillance and response system (IDSRS) with public health laboratories network and workforce development for transition of field epidemiology and laboratory training program.

An amount of Rs500 million has been proposed for Covid-19 emergency response and ensuring universal health coverage in Islamabad. Moreover, Rs500 million will be spent on strengthening common management unit (TB, HIV/Aids and malaria) and accelerating response to control the three diseases.

Besides, Rs495 million have been proposed for upgradation of the neurosurgery department and provision of essential equipment in Pims.

An amount of Rs396 million has been proposed for the purchase of new electro-medical equipment to replace the obsolete and old fashioned machines to treat patients at the National Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine (NIRM).

For the upgradation of the rural health facilities and strengthening of the health department, Rs393 million have also been proposed.

According to the documents, Rs250 million have been proposed for the implementation of the national action plan on population for the next five years.

Published in Dawn, June 11th, 2022

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