LAHORE   -    The Punjab government has proposed Rs20 billion for projects in health sector in the forthcoming budget, out of which 40 percent would be spent in south Punjab, 21 percent in north Punjab and the remaining in other parts of the province.

Furthermore, the government will ensure distribution of health cards in all 36 districts. This was informed at a meeting held on Friday with Finance Minister Makhdoom Jawan Bakhat Hashim in the chair.

The meeting reviewed development budget for health sector for the next fiscal year and utilization of allocated amount on the ongoing development schemes. Minister Health Dr Yasmin Rashid, Chairman Planning and Development Board Habibur Rehman Gilani and officials different departments attended the meeting.

Dr Yasim Rahsid said that Rs16 billion were allocated for the health sector during the last budget. She recommended increasing resource allocation for health insurance scheme and Punjab Kidney and Liver Institute (PKLI) for its timely completion. She said that 40 consultants were drawing salaries. She said that two operation theaters and 40 rooms had been constructed so far.

Makhdoom Jawan Bakhat Hashim said number of new development projects would be initiated in the forthcoming budget including hospital in Multan, DG Khan Cardiology Institute, Sheikh Zaid Teaching Hospital Rahim Yar Khan, Jinnah Medical Tower Lahore, and Mother and Child Health Care Centers. However, the minister stressed the need of Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects to decrease burden on public exchequer. He directed head of PPP Cell to coordinate with Finance Secretary to chalk out programs on the pattern of Infrastructure Development Authority Punjab (IDAP).