Federal govt returns control of three hospitals to Sindh

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The federal government on Saturday handed three public sector hospitals back to the Sindh government months after it was ordered to take control of the hospitals by the Supreme Court in January this year.

The Sindh government had approached the Supreme Court with a claim that since the subject of health had been devolved to provinces under the 18th Amendment, the management of the hospitals namely the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical College (JPMC), National Institute of Cardio Vascular Diseases (NICVD) and National Institute of Child Health (NICH) should rest with it.

However, the court had rejected the provincial government’s plea, saying the SC couldn’t leave “poor at the mercy of the provincial governments”. The Centre had taken control of the port city’s three major hospitals in May following the verdict.

Following the decision, Advisor to Sindh Chief Minister Murtaza Wahab said that the decision of handing the ownership back to the province adheres to the 18th Amendment as mandated by the Constitution.

“What kind of a government is this that gives priority to their funds over the problems of the public?” said Wahab, clarifying that the provincial government ensured that the hospitals were well-managed under Sindh government’s control.

After the June 12 federal budget, Pakistan People’s Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari had also criticised the federal government for taking charge of the Karachi hospitals, but not allocating the required budget.