LAHORE            -         The Punjab government has earmarked Rs 284.20 billion for the health sector collectively in the financial year 2020-21 budget proposals.

According to the budget documents issued on Monday, Rs 250.70 billion would be spent on ongoing regular projects, while Rs 33 billion has been allocated for development expenditures in the health sector.

The provincial government has specifically allocated Rs 13 billion to overcome COVID-19 and Rs 26 billion for procurement of medicines instead of Rs 23 billion, earmarked during the previous budget.

The Punjab government would spend Rs 6 billion on upgradation and provision of missing specialities in the district headquarters hospitals of Dera Ghazi Khan, Gujranwala, Sahiwal as well as the Institute of Urology and Transplantation Rawalpindi, Nishtar Hospital phase-II Multan, Mother and Child Block Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Upgradation of Radiology/ Specialities Department Services Hospital Lahore and establishment of Institute of Pediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery at the Children Hospital.

The Punjab government will also provide important facilities in Wazirabad Institute of Cardiology, Institute of Neuro-Sciences Lahore and Pakistan Kidney and Liver Institute Lahore during the current financial year.

The government has earmarked Rs 12 billion for Insaf Health Cards initiative, which will be introduced across the province.

An amount of Rs 11.46 billion has been allocated under the Department of Primary and Secondary Healthcare Development budget and the amount would be spent on upgradation of DHQs hospitals situated in the underdeveloped areas, establishment of new mother and child hospitals and revamping of all DHQs and 15 tehsil headquarters hospitals.

The government will initiate a comprehensive programme to control COVID-19, Hepatitis, AIDS and Tuberculosis (TB).

The Punjab government has earmarked Rs one billion to keep 196 basic health units operational round-the-clock for seven days under the Prime Minister Health Initiative. The government has allocated Rs 1.7 billion for Integrated Reproductive Maternal Newborn Child Health and Nutrition Programme.

An amount of Rs 9.35 billion has been allocated under the development budget by the Punjab government for ongoing schemes including Medical Education, Specialized Healthcare and miscellaneous and tertiary care hospitals of Specialized Healthcare and Medical Education while Rs 250 million would be spent on new schemes of the sector and Rs 12.55 billion has been allocated for other development programme (ODP).

An amount of Rs 11.462 billion has been earmarked in development budget 2020-21 for Primary and Secondary Healthcare in which Rs 9.502 billion has been allocated for ongoing schemes under the Primary and Secondary Healthcare including Rs 25 million for local development programme, Rs 3.238 for preventive healthcare, Rs 548.699 for primary healthcare, Rs 1.293 billion for research and development, Rs 3.349 billion for secondary healthcare and Rs 1.049 for special initiatives.

Opposition stages protest during budget speech in PA

The opposition parties in the Punjab Assembly Monday staged a noisy protest during the Budget 2020-21 speech by Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakht.

The opposition parties members were holding placards inscribed with slogans against the budget. Members of the opposition parties including Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N), Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) also attempted to besiege the finance minister’s seat during the speech.

However, after protesting for several minutes, the opposition members walked out the session.

Govt allocates over Rs 42b for OLMT project.