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LAHORE, June 25: The drastic cut in the annual budget allocated by the Punjab government for the fiscal year 2012-13 for Shaikh Zayed Hospital may have an adverse effect on the functioning of the institute which is already fighting its case with the federal government for the release of Rs580 million outstanding amount, it is learnt.

A source said the Punjab government had allocated a Rs1.2 billion budget for the fiscal year 2012-13 for the 714-bed hospital against Rs2.49 billion proposed or estimated budget demanded by the facility in its annual budget proposals to the government in May 2012.

It was the first budgetary allocations of the Punjab government for the SZH since the federal government transferred its administrative control to the province in February 2012 under the 18th Amendment.

Well-known for the treatment of renal and liver-related chronic diseases, the institute’s last annual budget for fiscal year 2011-12 allocated by the federal government was Rs2.21 billion, the source said. In the past the annual budget for the institute remained around Rs2 billion or so.

The ‘meager’ allocations for a state-of-the-art medical institution which has five important and major components, has also dashed the hopes of thousands of those patients seeking quality healthcare services at the institute.

Senior bureaucrats, judges, federal government secretaries and their families had also been getting standardised treatment according to their entitlement at this institute which is also equipped with sophisticated and costly gadgets when it was under federal government’s control.

The major components of the institute include Sheikh Khalifa Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Medical and Dental College, Sheikh Zayed Hospital, Sheikh Zayed Postgraduate Medical Institute and Sheikha Fatima Institute of Nursing & Health Sciences.

The institute also has to its credit the first liver transplant centre at any state-run facility in Punjab.

According to the source, the huge cut in the hospital’s annual budget came at a time when the institute was already fighting its case with the federal government for the release of its last tranche of central funds.

“An amount of Rs580 million remained un-disbursed despite four reminders by the SZH administration to the federal government for immediate release of the last payment of 2011-12 allocated budget”, the source said.

He said the institute had disbursed an amount of Rs230 million under the head of establishment charges when the federal government stopped the outstanding amount. The source said that a major chunk of an annual budget allocation was dispensed under the heads of maintenance, operational cost and establishment charges at the Shaikh Zayed Medical Institute.

Like, he said only one component of the medical institution - Shaikh Zayed Hospital- required Rs10 million for monthly electricity bills while Rs120 million for free medicines and Rs70 million for salaries annually.

Though, the institute would generate Rs500 to Rs600 million revenue annually from affording patients and through diagnostic facilities to run some of its affairs, the Punjab government’s announcement of 20 per cent salary raise during its recent budget session would affect the financial matters of the institute.

SZH Administrator Dr Akbar Husain told Dawn the institute had submitted its estimated budget to the Punjab government in May 2012.

He, however, expressed his ignorance about the budget proposed by the institute and the sum allocated by the government for the fiscal year 2012-13.

Special Assistant to Chief Minister on Health Khwaja Salman Rafique did not attend his cell phone while health special secretary Dawood Bareach said he would be able to comment on the issue after consulting the officials concerned during office timings.

By Our Staff Reporter