Punjab cuts medicines budget for teaching hospitals
The PTI had come into power with the slogans of making health and education a top priority while bashing the Metro, motorways and other infrastructure projects as wastage of resources.
But the current situation in Punjab is that even the teaching hospitals are facing a severe shortage of medicines after the government slashed the budget allocated for purpose by half in the fourth quarter.
A total of Rs23 billion were reserved under the head for the teaching hospitals which was already Rs4 billion less than the previous financial year. And now these institutions have received the quarterly budget with an Rs3 billion cut.
This move is even more disturbing as it came at a time when the entire country is grappling with a health emergency triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.
In the financial year 2018-19, an amount of Rs27 billion were spent on medicines, but the entire amount wasn’t paid. As a result, the budget allocated for the first quarter of the current financial year was spent on paying the dues, hence no money for new procurement.
And now, the provincial government has opted to further slash even the allocated amount for some unknown reasons.
It is worth noting that the PTI government has already stopped provision of free medicines to cancer, cardiac and other patients at the state-run hospitals.