PESHAWAR: Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Mahmood Khan has said that strengthening of health infrastructure in the province to enable it effectively deal with the challenges of COVID-19 has been the top priority of the provincial government adding that result oriented steps are being taken under a well planned strategy to augment the over all capacities of the public sector hospitals. He has further said that the provincial government is working to change the challenges posed by COVID -19 into an opportunity to strengthen and improve the health service delivery system in the province.
In a statement issued here, Mahmood Khan said that in order to enable the existing health infrastructure to cope with the challenges of corona pandemic a huge amount worth Rs. 124 billion had been proposed for health sector in the annual budget of the upcoming financial year in addition to the 24 billion allocated to fund the emergency nature of expenditures. The Chief Minister said that in order to enhance the capacities of the public sector tertiary care autonomous hospitals on emergency basis, a fund to the tune of Rs. 10 billion has been allocated for the timely completion of the ongoing developmental schemes of these hospitals which is over and above the current side allocation of Rs. 26 billion for these hospitals.
“During the upcoming financial year steps will be taken to enhance the capacities of all the public sector hospitals including District Headquarters and Tehsil Headquarters Hospitals, Rural Health Centres and Basic Health Units of both the settled as well as newly merged districts with regard to fulfill their requirements of trained Human resources, medical equipments, medicines and other required facilities”; the Chief Minister remarked adding that in this regard need assessment of all these health service delivery outlets is being carried out. Mahmood khan continued that funds for pursches of essential medicines for public sector hospitals had been increased to 4.00 billion rupees in the upcoming budget as compared to that of 2.5 billion rupees in the budget of 2019-29 and added that a fund of Rs. One billion has also been allocated in the new budget for outsourcing the solid waste management of public sector hospitals. “Provision of free medical treatment facilities to the people of the province has been the top priority of our government, and to this end a flagship programme of social health protection with a brand name of Sehat Insaf card was launched during our previous provincial government with a limited coverage”; Mahmood khan remarked adding that now the coverage of the social health protection schemes is being extended to the entire population of the province for which an amount of Rs. 10 billion have been allocated in the health budget of financial year 2020-21.