11% of budget allocated for health in K-P

PESHAWAR: The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government budget for health sector has been increased to Rs65.7 billion, for the fiscal year 2017-18, up by 19.45 per cent from Rs55 billion last year.

This is 11 per cent of the total proposed provincial budget.

Although the provincial government has allocated RsRs51.971billionfor the health ministry for the fiscal year 2017-18, Rs13.78 billion have been expected to be transferred to the district health offices. Around a similar amount was allocated for district health officer for the fiscal year 2016-17.
According to the White Paper, expenditure for the health sector has been raised to Rs35.496 billion in 2017-18, up from Rs31.67billion for the outgoing fiscal year.

Of this, the government has allocated Rs23.623 billion for salaries of staff for 2017-18, up from Rs19.38 billion from last year. On the other hand, Rs11.873 billion have been set aside for non-salary expenditures, down from Rs12.29 billion in 2016-17.

For the development of 101 projects, the government has allocated Rs12 billion for the incoming fiscal year.

Of this, 75 are ongoing projects for which the government has allocated Rs9.961 billion. For the 26 new schemes proposed for the incoming fiscal year, the government has set aside Rs2.04 billion.

The government also expects some foreign aid in this sector worth Rs4.474 billion for five projects including Rs3.73 billion from DFID and GAVI for the Integration of Health Services Delivery with special focus on MNCH, LHW, EPI and Nutrition Programme. The USAID-funded Health Initiative would receive Rs220.03 million.

The German bank KFW would be providing Rs179.22 million for the social health protection initiative.

The government hopes to raise Rs638.18 million from various fees and receipts.

Separately, the government plans to continue and upscale the two projects under the District Delivery Challenge Fund.

Finance Minister Muzafar Said, during the budget speech, stated that the developmental budget for the fiscal year 2012-13 was around Rs7billion. This figure had now nearly doubled owing to an increase in the number of projects which had been introduced and a large number of posts approved.

The government plans to create 1,140 posts of various categories during the year (674 with the province, 466 for districts). As many as 232 stipendiary slots will also be created. he stipend for student nurses would be increased from Rs5,000 to Rs20,000, up 300 per cent.

Moreover, Rs4billion has been allocated as health professional allowance (HPA) for medics.

While some officials said that this was an additional burden on the government’s coffers, others argued that the attractive packages have compelled doctors to ensure their presence at health facilities located on the peripheries.

The finance minister, during the budget speech at the provincial legislature, stated that they had set aside Rs1.9 billion to treat 5,000 cancer patients in the province. Of these, 1,400 have already been provided with assistance.

Additionally, 3,900 Lady Health Workers, 181 technicians for the expanded programme on immunisation and 78 nutrition nurses would be recruited.

By Umer Farooq Published in The Express Tribune, June 8th, 2017.

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