By Dr. Abdul Razak Shaikh,
Faced with an acute shortage of financial resources and lack of fiscal space, the federal government has decided in principle to hand over administrative and financial control of three Karachi and one Lahore hospitals to the respective provincial governments, Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Control said on Saturday.
Federal Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation, and Control had assumed the administrative control of three major Karachi hospitals that include the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases, Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre and National Institute of Child Health Karachi as well as Shaikh Zayed Medical Institute, Lahore in May this year on the directives from Supreme Court of Pakistan but no monetary allocation was made in the financial budget for three Sindh and one Lahore hospital.
Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr. Zafar Mirza said federal cabinet in its last meeting discussed the issue of provincial hospitals in detail and decided to handover these facilities to the Sindh and Punjab governments.
The federal cabinet and Prime Minister Imran Khan was of the view that in the present political situation, it would not be advisable to run these hospitals, especially Sindh’s three hospitals by the federal authorities.
The Attorney General of Pakistan would soon approach the Supreme Court of Pakistan and urge the Apex court to review its decision regarding these four health facilities.
ON 16TH January 2019, the supreme court of Pakistan has declared that Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Centre (JPMC). National Institute of Cardio Vascular Diseases (NICVD) National Institute of Child Health (NICH), Shaikh Zaid Medical complex Lahore (SZMC) and National Museum of Pakistan, Karachi (NMP) were declared a part of the federal government and their devolution to provinces to be unconstitutional without lawful authority and of no legal effect and all the orders, directions issued having also no legal status.
The court had given 90 days to provincial and federal governments for a smooth transition of the hospital’s control. The deadline given by the court was ended by the mid of April.
The Sindh government had also filed a review petition in the Supreme Court, seeking the reversal of the court’s verdict and permission for it to run the hospitals.
The provincial government and the health institutions had approached the court with a claim that since the subject of health had been devolved to the provinces under the 18th Amendment, the management of the JPMC, NICVD, and NICH also vested with the Sindh government.
The apex court had rejected the Sindh government’s plea in January this year.
Sindh Government already opted these institutes and reluctant to back the federal government.
Ruling out any deal with Pakistan People’s Party in this regard, the Federal Health Advisor maintained that this decision was taken in order to prevent people of Sindh from problems and difficulties.
The federal government was facing financial issues and it was difficult for them to run these huge health facilities in the prevailing economic situation but added that financial issues were not the only consideration while taking a decision regarding these facilities.
On the other hand, Sindh Advisor Information Barrister Murtaza Wahab welcomed the federal cabinet’s decision and said they already knew that the federal government has lacked the capacity to run such huge and specialized health facilities.
Advising federal government to refrain from interference in the provincial governments’ affairs, he said the federal government should concentrate on improving its performance and fulfilling its promises with the people of Pakistan.
PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has shown the strong reservations earlier against the federal government to a takeover of 3 major hospitals of Sindh as a blatant attack on provincial autonomy.
The Happiest day for the consultant working in JPMC and NICH, who was promoted from BPS-18 to BPS-21 by Jinnah Sindh Medical University (JSMU) under control of Sindh Government? Presently they are in lien for 2 years from the Health department government of Sindh. They all have got promotion of higher ranks with attachment JSMU.
Same way NICVD has appointed a lot of consultants and very big network in the field of cardiology free of cost with the financial support of the Sindh government.
Presently JPMC is well established with the necessary emergency system having a cyber knife for cancer patients, Asia’s number one free of caste and well-established Radiology department.
NICVD caters to the cardiovascular needs of a vast majority of patients from all provinces of Pakistan as well as patients from other neighboring countries. It is responsible for training the bulk of local cardiac physicians, nurses, and paramedics throughout the country.
Besides Chest Pain Units, Nine Satellite Centers were also working free of caste at the Civil Hospital Larkana, Sehwan, Tando Muhammad Khan, Sukkur, Khairpur, Nawabshah, Mithi, Ghotki, and Hyderabad, are now fully working with the support of Sindh government. The whole Sindh is getting the well-organized benefit free of caste from NICVD.
The NICVD has now a very vast network free of cost in the province of Sindh by getting the Billions of Budget from Sindh government. Poor people are really praying and credit goes to PPP, the Government Sindh.