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KARACHI: Though the government hospitals in Sindh province need better equipment and facilities but at the same time buying very costly machinery for the sake of corruption and kickbacks not accepted at any cost, said Pasban Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman Altaf Shakoor.

He said buying very costly equipment for government hospitals from blue-eyed contractors and firms on the basis of kickbacks is robbery on taxpayers money.

He said at one hand dispensaries in small hospitals don’t have even painkiller tablets but certain vested interests on the other hand are bent to buy equipment worth billions of rupees for just a few hospitals, while this money could be used to develop teaching hospitals district level in the whole province.

He said a hot controversy has developed in Sindh when caretaker Health Minister Dr Saad Khalid Niaz has rightly cancelled a multi-billion rupee contract for buying four more very costly robotic surgery systems.

He said recently Punjab caretaker chief minister Mohsin Naqvi visited Meo Hospital in Lahore and found that a CT scan machine bought for Rs 27 crore was kept in store and during past 6 years only 8 CT scans were done by it.

He said in Sindh injured police officials are admitted to a particular private hospital of Karachi and billions of rupees have been paid to it so far in this regard.

He said there is a strong nexus of private hospitals, contractors and companies with “corruption system” of Sindh province and funds worth billions of rupees are siphoned away through this system. He said mega corruption in the NICVD also through the same corruption system is being investigated by the corruption watchdogs.

Altaf Shakoor said we are not against modernization of government hospitals in Sindh, but we find ourselves in agreement with the medical associations that basic healthcare structure of dispensaries and Taluka hospitals should be strengthen.

We also demand to establish teaching hospitals in district level in Sindh. He said there should be real-time dashboard for all government hospitals to show which equipment there is operational and which equipment is kept idle for which reasons. This would ensure optimal utilization of machinery and equipment in the government hospitals.

He appealed to the caretaker Chief Minister Justice Maqbool Baqar to look into the matter of very costly purchase of robotics systems and divert these funds for improvement of basic healthcare structure in Sindh in consultation with the representative medical associations and bodies.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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