Haleem issues white paper on performance of Sindh Health Department

Haleem issues white paper on performance of Sindh Health Department
Haleem issues white paper on performance of Sindh Health Department

KARACHI, Jan 04 (APP):Leader of the Opposition in Sindh Assembly, Haleem Adil Sheikh, expressing extreme discontentment on state of public sector medical facilities in the province has issued white paper on performance of Sindh Health Department.

Haleem Adil Sheikh, while addressing a press conference here at Sindh Assembly Building on Tuesday, said that due to dilapidated condition of public hospitals and health care sector and non availability of even the basic facilities there it was imperative to issue Health Card in Sindh so that people of the province could avail better medical facilities at par with other provinces of Pakistan.

He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan has provided health insurance coverage of up to Rs. one million to every citizen of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and other areas which enabled them to avail medical facilities at the best private sector hospitals throughout Pakistan but Sindh government was opposing issuance of Health card only for the political reason that it was a public welfare scheme by PTI government.

In Sindh people did not find doctors and other paramedical staff in government hospitals which always remained short of medicines and diagnostic facilities, Haleem said and added “Even an ambulance could not be found to carry dead body if a patient dies due to non availability of proper healthcare in the hospital.”

Carrying patients and dead bodies on donkey carts and rickshaws, poor hygiene and sanitation in hospitals, treatment of two and even three patients on a single bed or even on benches and floor were common scenes in hospitals of Sindh, he observed.

Almost all of the rural and basic health centers and most of the taluka and district level medical facilities in the province just refer the patients to tertiary care hospitals situated in major cities and healthcare facilities were scarce there as well, he pointed out adding that several victims of dog bite particularly minor children lost their lives because anti-rabies vaccine was not available to them.

He reprimanded PPP spokespersons for unashamedly boasting off their performance in health sector and for making false claims that hospital of the province were improved to an extent that people from all over Pakistan and even from abroad were coming Sindh for medical treatment.
“People would believe their bombastic rhetoric only if PPP leaders and ministers start taking medical treatment in government hospitals of Sindh instead of going to private hospitals or traveling abroad for the purpose,” he maintained.

PPP had completely failed to ensure healthcare facilities for people of Sindh despite spending more than Rs. 768 billion during their 14 year long government in Sindh and now they were resisting Health Card that tantamount to hostility to people of Sindh and adding insult to their injury, Haleem remarked.

There was only one burns ward in Sindh to cater needs of entire population of the province and that too was operated by a NGO while hundreds of government health centers and hospitals or their operational expenses were handed over to PPHI, HIS and other non-governmental organizations, he said adding that on the other side PPP spokesperson criticized utilization of Health cards through private sector.

Haleem Adil Sheikh said that PPP presented National Institute of Cardio Vascular Diseases (NICVD) as their flagship health sector initiative but there was vast scale corruption in the institute and patients were not getting adequate treatment facilities there.

Nadeem Qamar- a brother of PPP MNA Naveed Qamar- was director of NICVD and receiving Rs. 6.5 million as monthly salary while the institute had overdraft of Rs. 16 billion, he said and pointed out that a serious violation of medical ethics in the month of September 2021 when 45 patients were treated by ‘balloon angioplasty’ as stunts were not available in NICVD.

The white paper issued further elaborated that in NICVD not a single case of elective free surgery was done during previous 6 months while Coronary bypass surgery was only being done at Sukkur and Tando Muhammad Khan.

The white paper consisting detail of corruption in Sindh Health department stated that audit report highlighted embezzlement of over Rs. 8 billion in previous financial year, 27 schemes of Karachi were waiting completion and not a single rupee was spent on 7 revised schemes.

Besides embezzlement in yearly budget and development program, cases of corruption in Corona Relief Fund, AIDS program, Measles and Rubella vaccination program and fight against rabies program were detected, the paper stated.

Haleem Adil Sheikh said that corruption of over Rs. 10 billion was pointed out in Corona Fund alone while more than 76 thousand doses of Covid-19 vaccine were wasted.

Responding to a question about health sector intervention by federal government in Sindh Haleem said that if federal government planed any initiative they would start referring to 18th amendment and provincial autonomy as health was a devolved subject.

On another query he said that PTI believes that health was a fundamental right of people and every citizen must have access to quality medical facilities. “We wanted proper utilization of allocated budget of health sector and improvement of healthcare facilities in Sindh but PPP was a major hurdle in it,” he said.

On a question about Jamat-e-Islami’s sit in, leader of the opposition said that all the opposition parties were on the same page as to extra-constitutional local government act. PTI stands shoulder to shoulder by JI and support its struggle.