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LAHORE: The Punjab government has proposed an amount of Rs 470 billion for health sector in its budget 2022-23, which is 27% higher than the current year (2021-22) budgetary allocation of Rs 369.3 billion.

As per budget document made available to Business Recorder, Rs 296 billion has been set aside for non-development expenditures while Rs 174.5 billion has been reserved for development expenditures. An amount of Rs 125.34 billion has been allocated for Universal Health Insurance Program (Health Card) as against Rs 60 billion allocated in the year 2021-22.

In the next financial year, Rs 5 billion have been allocated for PKLI while from July 2022, provision of free medicines in the hospitals is being started. An amount of Rs 5.80 billion has been set aside for provision of missing facilities in public sector hospitals while Rs 3.87 billion has been reserved for National Health Support Programme (NHSP). An amount of Rs 1 billion has been reserved in the budget for CT scan facility at THQs while MRI facility will be provided in DHQs with allocation of Rs 2 billion.

Under the development portfolio for healthcare, Rs 1.8 billion has been allocated for revamping of THQ Hospitals, Rs 1.16 billion for population welfare, Rs 1.6 billion for establishment of nursing and tertiary care hospitals, Rs 1.3 billion for revamping of DHQ Hospitals, Rs 1.6 billion for integrated reproductive, maternal new born & child health.

In the budget 2022-23, Rs 2 billion have been allocated for communicable disease programme and infection control programme. An amount of Rs 4 billion has been set aside in the budget for provision of family planning services.

In the development budget of Primary & Secondary Healthcare Department, Rs 21 billion has been proposed. An amount of Rs 3.10 billion will be spent for ongoing projects of provision of facilities like equipment and missing facilities. An amount of Rs 2.70 billion has been reserved for new projects.

For specialized healthcare & medical education department, Rs 151.50 billion have been proposed which is 93-percent high from current year’s allocation. An amount of Rs 2 billion will be spent on upgradation of medical colleges’ hostels while Rs 900 million will be spent on provision of ventilators in hospitals. A trauma centre comprising 70 beds will be established in Multan with a cost of Rs 500 million.

Moreover, a meeting on ‘Universal Health Insurance’ was held at Punjab Health Initiative Company with provincial minister Khawaja Salman Rafique in the chair, to review steps for health insurance. State Life Insurance Company officials briefed the provincial minister on the details of M-paneling and treatment facilities in more hospitals of the province.

Salman Rafique said, “We are trying to provide maximum free medical treatment to the people of Punjab through Universal Health Insurance. Health insurance is the brain child of Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif. Both the PM and CM want to provide the best healthcare facilities to the people. We also want to provide bone marrow transplantation facility to the patients through this scheme.”

He said the State Life staff in selected public and private hospitals in Punjab must ensure better treatment of patients. Treatment of patients will be monitored through Universal Health Insurance by visiting selected hospitals of Punjab.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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