Punjab Health sector to get Rs 284b, Education Rs 391b
ISLAMABAD-Provincial Finance Minister Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakhat during his budget speech in the assembly session on Monday said that Punjab has earmarked Rs 284.2 billion and Rs 391 billion for Health and Education sectors respectively.
Since Health sector is under extreme pressure due to COVID-19, he said that Rs 13 billion has been allocated to control this pandemic and more than Rs 26 billion for medicines procurement. He continued that project worth more than Rs 6 billion will be completed by Specialized Healthcare Department, citing that these projects include up-gradation and provision of missing facilities at DHQ Hospitals in D.G.Khan, Gujranwala and Sahiwal, establishment of Institute of Urology and Transplantation Rawalpindi, Nishtar Hospital-II Multan, Mother and Child Block at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital Lahore, up-gradation of Radiology/Specialties Departments at Services Hospital Lahore, and Institute of Pediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery at Children Hospital Lahore.
Institute of Cardiology will be constructed in D.G.Khan and Thalassemia Unit and Bone Marrow Transplant Centre at Victoria Hospital Bahawalpur will be up-graded, while all necessary facilities will be provided at Institute of Cardiology Wazirabad, Institute of Neurosciences Lahore and Pakistan Kidney and Liver Institute Lahore, he maintained.
In order to improve Health Sector Service delivery, the minister said that a total of 12000 vacancies of doctors and paramedical staff will be filled. He mentioned that scope of Sehat Insaaf Card has been extended entire Punjab and five million cards have so far been distributed, while Rs 12 billion has been allocated under this head for FY 2020-21.
Hashim Jawan said that Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department would have Rs 11.46 billion development budget for up-gradation of DHQ Hospitals in under-developed areas, establishment of Mother and Child Hospitals, revamping of tehsil headquarters hospitals. A comprehensive programme is also being launched to control TB, AIDS, Hepatitis and Coronavirus, while a hefty grant has been earmarked under Prime Minister Health Initiative to keep the Basic Health Units operational 24/7. He said that Rs 1.7 billion has been set aside for Integrated Reproductive Maternal Newborn Child Health and Nutrition Programme.
School Education Department (SED) will be given a total of Rs 350.1 billion out of which Rs 27.6 billion will be spent on development side. Through its development budget, the department will proved educational stipend and textbooks to more than 500,000 students. Rs 13.5 billion has been allocated for school councils, Rs 3 billion for Danish Schools, and Rs 22 billion under Public-Private Partnership for Punjab Education Foundation and PEIMA. In addition to this, the department will also construct additional classrooms, upgrade various schools, and establish computer labs. He mentioned that PTI government has so far upgraded 1227 elementary schools to high schools.
Higher Education Department will get Rs 37.56 billion out of which Rs 3.9 billion will be spent of developmental projects which includes seven new universities, provision of essentials at universities, educational stipends to the poor but intelligent students. Similarly, an amount of Rs 3 billion and Rs 800 million are being earmarked for Literacy and Non-Formal Education, and Special Education respectively.