Sindh govt to run three major federal hospitals in Karachi for 25 years

KARACHI: The Sindh cabinet on Tuesday approved a proposal under which the provincial government would operate three major federal health facilities in the metropolis — the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), National Institute of Child Health (NICH) and National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) — for a period of 25 years by providing funds, employees’ salaries and bear expenses on medicines.

The cabinet meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, was informed by the health secretary that the federal government had agreed in principle to devolve the three major institutions to the provincial government.

He said that the federal government had sent the draft Operating and Management Agreement to finalise the transfer of control of the three hospitals. The cabinet approved the draft agreement and referred it to the federal government for final approval.

The cabinet was informed that the initial term of the agreement, effective from the date of signing of the agreement, would be for a period of 25 years. Under the agreement, the Sindh government would be authorised to operate, develop, maintain and upgrade the hospitals through its health department.

The operating cost, including salaries, medicines, utilities, and development expenditures would be borne by the provincial government under the agreement.

It would be entitled to hire the staff necessary to perform work; the employees are to be governed as per the provincial laws and revert to the provincial government after the expiry of the agreement.

Under the draft agreement, all the federal employees working in the hospital would continue their services.

A subcommittee of the cabinet, after thorough deliberations, recommended to issue wheat at Rs5,825 per 100kg with Rs23.55 billion of subsidy in 2022-23.

The chief minister directed the food department to prepare a foolproof strategy to ensure that the subsidy was passed on to the real consumers and the price of atta was kept in the range of Rs58 to Rs65 per kg.

The cabinet also decided to purchase 200,000 tonnes of wheat from the Pakistan Agricultural Storage and Services Corporations (Passco) for which Rs16.768bn were approved. The cabinet decided that the Passco would give 100,000 tonnes of local wheat and 100,000 tonnes of imported wheat.

The cabinet approved a wildlife department proposal seeking a ban on hunting of native game birds and migratory waterfowl. The chief minister said that there should be a ban for one year until the wildlife in the province got recovered from the shock sustained due to natural disasters.

The health department presented a draft bill for the establishment of the Benazir Institute of Urology and Transplant (BIUT) in Nawabshah for providing urological and transplantation services to the people with the technical assistance of the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT).

The meeting was told that the institute would be an autonomous body to function through its independent board of governors.

The institute would undertake treatment with the latest physical facilities necessary for carrying out investigation and treatment of urology, nephrology, and organ transplant; and to undertake postgraduate programmes in the field of urology, nephrology, and training of nursing and paramedical staff.

The cabinet approved the bill and referred it to the assembly for consideration.

The universities and boards department presented a request for declaring the Karachi Medical and Dental College as an affiliated college and the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital as the teaching hospital of the Karachi Metropolitan University.

The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation has proposed to establish a fully fledged public university in district Central. The Karachi Metropolitan University Bill, duly vetted by the law department, has already been sent to the assembly for legislation.

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