PESHAWAR          -       The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa govern­ment has earmarked Rs. 124 bil­lion for health sector of merged and settled areas of the province having increase of Rs. 34 billion as compare to previous financial year of 2019-2020.

Keeping in view the challeng­es of Covid-19, the provincial gov­ernment has not only increased the annual budget but has also re­served emergency funds of Rs. 24 billion in case of any emergen­cy. The fund would be utilized for corona patients, procurement of equipments and compensation amount for the families of govern­ment employees. In this budget Rs. 15 billion would be spent in settled districts and Rs 9 billion would be spent in merged districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

For development projects in health sector Rs 24 billion have been earmarked of which Rs 10 billion would be spent in merged districts while Rs 14 billion would be utilized in settled districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

In his budget speech, KP Finance Minister Temoor Saleem Jhagra said that the chief minister has clear vi­sion about health budget and want to spend more money on this sector.

From the very beginning, he said, PTI government was trying to complete the medical equip­ment, medicines and staff in all hospitals. The government had promised Sehat Insaf Card for all citizens of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and in this regard contract would be signed in the current month in which each family would get free of cost medical treatment.

Temoor Saleem said that for this Programme of Sehat Insaf Card Rs 10 billion have been allocated. Like­wise for MTI hospitals Rs 36 billion have been earmarked out of which Rs 26 billion is MTI current budget, Rs 4 billion for mega projects while Rs 6 billion is special fund.

 The minister said that World Bank would provide fund for de­velopment of Rural Health centers, THQs and DHQs. The government has allocated Rs 2.5 billion for pro­curement of medicines and Rs 1 billion would be utilized for waste management. The additional allo­cation for merged districts would help equip the district headquar­ters hospitals of the areas in term of staff and equipments.