Govt first needs to overcome public sector hospitals shortage in Capital, says Taj Haider


ISLAMABAD: Former central information secretary of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Senator Taj Haider on Friday said that the federal government needs to concentrate on overcoming the shortage of public sector hospitals in Islamabad rather than engaging in senseless and insulting propaganda about establishing hospitals in Sindh and other provinces.

The senator said that 60 per cent patients in government hospitals in Sindh comes from the other provinces and Islamabad. He said that tertiary hospitals for kidney transplants, cardiovascular diseases, liver transplants, cyberknife treatment of cancer etc; have been set up and are being run by the government of Sindh in the province where the most expansive treatment is done ‘Free of Cost’.

The PPP leader also said that no one expects the federal government to set up tertiary level hospitals for these specialized treatments since they neither have the capacity nor the will to undertake such ventures, but setting up of some secondary level hospitals in Islamabad would certainly reduce a load of patients on the hospitals in Sindh.

Senator Taj Haider said that the total collapse of FBR coupled with a fraudulent reduction of Sindh’s population in Census 2017 has caused a severe shortage of financial resources in the Province. The drop of 28 % in Federal Board of Revenue’s collection has caused a reduction of almost Rs90 billion in Sindh’s share in the NFC Divisible Pool in the last six months.

He said that the provincial taxes of Sindh have shown a growth of 18% during this period but this addition cannot make up for the loss of Rs170/180 billion in federal transfers at the end of the year.

“Our social sector and development programs would be severely affected due to resource shortfalls while migration into Sindh of our dispossessed brothers from other provinces is on the increase”, he said.

Senator Taj Haider said that the PPP in its election manifesto had proposed that the federation and the provinces should jointly collect the federal taxes.

The resulting rise in tax collection could have reduced the revenue deficit to a great extent besides ensuring larger transfers to the provinces but unfortunately the federation is too involved in heaping insults on others to be able to listen to any sensible proposal, he added.

The PPP leader said that no wonder,  under the PTI’s provincial government in Punjab, the provincial tax collection has also shown negative growth during the last six months, which will add to the misery of the people of Punjab and increase their migration into Sindh.