Punjab govt made record increase in health budget: CM Buzdar

LAHORE, Jan 14 (APP):Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar on Friday said the Punjab government had made a record increase in health budget of the province as during 2013-18, it was only Rs169 billion while the incumbent government increased it from Rs369 billion to Rs399 billion in the current financial year.

In a statement issued, the CM said work was underway on health projects in the Lahore division worth Rs36.65 billion. A state-of-the-art mother and child block was being constructed at Ganga Ram Hospital at a cost of Rs7 billion while a 1,000-bed hospital would be constructed on Ferozepur Road at a total cost of Rs8 billion. In the first phase, the 100-bed hospital would be made functional, he added.

The CM said that emergency and trauma centers would be built at Jinnah Hospital and Services Hospital while Child Health Sciences University would be constructed at a cost of Rs4 billion. Alongside, the upgradation of various wards of Lady Willingdon Hospital would cost Rs35.5 billion, he added.

He said the hospital management information system was being brought in collaboration with Punjab Information Technology Board to bring government hospitals in a paperless era. The reforms would ensure the best health facilities for the citizens, he added.

The CM said that Multan Nishtar-II and DG Khan cardiology institute projects were in the process of expeditious completion. Dental colleges were also being set up in Rawalpindi and Bahawalpur, he said. A total of 8 mother and child hospitals were under construction in Punjab. He said the incomplete project of Mandi Bahauddin DHQ hospital along with new district hospitals in Chiniot, Hafizabad and Chakwal had been completed and, in total, 158 hospitals and health centers were being upgraded.

In 3 years, the government had set up 78 new health facilities and 91 new health projects had also been included in the district development package. A total of Rs37.25 billion had been allocated for free medicines in hospitals and health centers across the province, he added.

Attention was also paid to build new hospitals to provide the best medical facilities to the labourers, he said. In the 52 years from the inception of Punjab Employees Social Security Institution (PESSI) till 2018, there were 14 social security hospitals in Punjab however this government had built 9 new hospitals in just three years. Now, there were 23 social security hospitals in the province to provide the best facilities to registered workers and labourers, concluded the CM.