KARACHI: The Federal Ministry of National Health Services on Thursday informed that the 3 major hospitals in Karachi have been coming back to the like indicated in a Supreme Court judgement. The step by the federal government was condemned by the chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party, which rules Sindh.
A notification has been granted by the Ministry of National Health Services , Regulations and Coordination , which says that in pursuance of the Supreme Court of Pakistan’s judgement dated Jan 1, 2019, in pleas and on “having been permitted by the federal cabinet on April 2 , 2019”, those 3 hospitals or health care institutions “are hereby restored to the federal government” .
It declared the hospitals — Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, Karachi, National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases, Karachi, and National Institute of Child Health, Karachi — had been placed under the management control of the Ministry of National Health Services , Regulations and Coordination , Islamabad , with its elements , assets and staff as indicated in the Supreme Court decision . “Necessary amendments in the Rules of Business, 1973, will be located to the Cabinet Division,” it added. PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari “strongly condemned” the taking over of the 3 key hospitals of Sindh by the federal government and termed it “an attack on the hard-earned provincial autonomy”.
In a statement, the PPP chairman declared the people of Sindh had invested billions of rupees in the revolutionary developments in the JPMC, NICVD and the NICH after those hospitals have been handed over to the province under the 18th Amendment in the Constitution .“Expansion of NICVD hospitals to various cities of the province has excelled performance of the Sindh govt, which paid for expensive cardiac treatments of patients from all over Pakistan,” he added.
Mr. Bhutto-Zardari declared taking over those important health infrastructures without waiting for the last verdict of the Supreme Court on a review petition filed by the Sindh government “has displayed the arrogance of the federal government and a difficult contempt of the supreme judiciary by the government of Pakistan Three-i-Insaf”.
“An admission by the NAB ( National Accountability Bureau ) chairman that he is holding back queries of corruption against the govt ministers to quit its imminent fall and the PTI government’s contempt of courtroom steps have exposed the constitutional crisis that the nation is currently facing,” the PPP chairman said.
He said the PPP’s Sindh govt was investing Rs12 .5 billion on the NICVD and Rs4bn on the JPMC annually to ensure the quality cost-free treatment to patients coming from across Pakistan. “The Sindh govt has been providing state-of-the-art health facilities to people who come from each corner of the nation without any charges .”
Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari warned that his party and the people of Sindh would not permit anybody to usurp the hard-earned assets of the health facilities. “Resistance will be mounted at each available forum,” he declared, alert the federal government to get the notification withdrawn before public outrage against its highly controversial decision got momentum.
The provincial govt, however, had developed its own Sindh Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases after the apex court’s decision. A bill passed to that effect declared the SICVD was meant to run all the satellite facilities and chest pain units of the NICVD. Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah had then declared that those satellite facilities in several cities of Sindh and chest pain units in Karachi had been set up by the Sindh govt and had been handed to the NICVD under a memorandum of understanding, which could be scrapped at any moment.
The headquarters of the SICVD would be established in Sukkur or Karachi. Mr. Shah had declared that health has been a provincial subject since 1935 and the NICVD, JPMC, and NICH had been the ones that had been established by the govt when the then undivided country’s west wing, which now represented whole Pakistan, was named West Pakistan by jumbling the four provinces here. He had declared that since then there were no provinces, these hospitals were established and run by the federal government; however, immediately after the 18th Amendment was passed, the federal government itself handed them over to the province.