PESHAWAR: Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Mahmood Khan has said that significant funds will be allocated for the uplift of health sector in the province in the upcoming financial budget so that the health service delivery system could be strengthened and improved in the province to enable it effectively deal with the challenges of any emergency situation including that of COVID-19. He has further said that special attention will be paid to fulfill the deficiencies of doctors, nurses, paramedics and other health professionals, medical equipments and emergency medicines in all the categories of hospitals ranging from Basic Health Units Units upto Territory Care Hospitals. He expressed these views while chairing a meeting regarding the formulation of Annual Development Program (ADP) of health sector for the upcoming financial year held here at Chief Minister Secretariat the other day. Provincial Health Minister, Taimur Saleem Jhagra, Additional Chief Secretary, Shakil Qadir, Principal Secretary to CM, Shahab Ali Shah, Secretary Planning and Development, Humayun Khan, Secretary Health, Syed Imtiaz Hussain and other relevant authorities attended the meeting. The meeting was given a detailed briefing about the proposed developmental schemes of health sector to be included in the next ADP. The meeting also reviewed in detail the progress so far made on the completion of ongoing developmental schemes under the current ADP. The meeting was informed that a comprehensive program for improving service delivery in all public sector hospitals had been proposed for the new ADP whereas a scheme for upgradation of all nine nursing schools of the province to nursing colleges would also be reflected in the new ADP in order to revamp the nursing sector as per the requirements of the modern age. “Additional funds will be allocated to extend the coverage of Sihat Insaf Card Scheme to the 100% population of the province”; the meeting was briefed and further informed that a number of other schemes like strengthening the Routine Immunization, upgradation of hospitals, provision of emergency medicines and medical equipments, hiring of essential health staff for hospitals and special initiatives to effectively deal with Corona pandemic would be part of the health sector ADP. Regarding the proposed schemes for the merged areas, the meeting was told that under the Accelerated Implementation Plan (AIP) projects for upgradation of all Districts and Tehsil Headquarters Hospitals of merged areas, hiring of the required health staff and provision of latest medical equipments for these hospitals would be completed during the next financial year. The Chief Minister termed the timely completion of the ongoing developmental schemes as priority area of his government and directed the high ups of health department to ensure the completion of the ongoing scheme as per the given timelines. He said that timely completion of the developmental schemes would not be compromised in any case and warned that strict action would be taken against those responsible for delay in the completion of public welfare initiatives.