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‘Federal govt has issued fresh notification just to ruin Karachi’s three main hospitals’

Sindh Information and Local Government Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah has said the provincial government has given full attention to three main government-run hospitals in Karachi, and, resultantly, the performance of these healthcare institutions has improved a lot.

Talking to media persons here on Tuesday, he said a fresh notification had been unduly issued to let the federal government assume the administrative control of these public sector hospitals just to ruin them.

Shah said the inefficiency of the federal government was known to everyone, as the “ineligible rulers” had failed in every sector. “The recent countrywide electricity breakdown is just one more example as several cities in the country have been without electricity despite the passage of two days.”

The information minister noted that hundreds of thousands of patients got healthcare services from the three main government-run hospitals of Karachi — Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) and National Institute of Child Health (NICH).

He said people not just from Sindh but from the rest of the country and even from abroad came to those health facilities to get free treatment.

The Sindh government had filed an appeal in the court to retain the control of the hospitals, but the federal government did not even obey the court directives, he said, adding that one of the court directives had clearly stated that the provincial government should be reimbursed the expense incurred by it on these hospitals, but that directive had not been implemented.

Shah remarked that the PTI’s federal government’s conduct in this regard was nothing but a bid to hoodwink the public. He said the federal government had not made any allocation in its budget that otherwise could be used to run the hospitals just for a month.

He said that due investigations and action should be conducted in case any irregularity had been committed in the affairs of the NICVD, but the real cause was to unduly defame these health facilities in order to make them controversial.

Responding to a query, he said a judicial probe should be conducted to know the real facts behind the recent countrywide blackout.

Shah said the most perplexing aspect of the recent power breakdown was that a fault at the Guddu Power Station had affected the entire country and plunged it into darkness instead of affecting merely the adjoining areas.

He said the spokesman for ruling PTI often issued false statements, but it did not mention the fact that Sindh was the only province that had laid its own transmission line as the Nooriabad power plant had been supplying 100 megawatts of electricity to Karachi.

He said good deeds of the Sindh government had never been appreciated by the PTI; instead, it caused sheer discomfort to the ruling party in the province.

To a question, he said former president Asif Ali Zardari had been shifted to hospital as he had been feeling unwell for the last few days. He said Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had clarified that the destination of the upcoming long march would be Islamabad. “I’m a political worker as I will take tea, eat a pizza, or even make do with daal rooti, but I will march on Islamabad whenever the order comes from our [party’s] chairman,” he said.

What PTI thinks

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Sindh leaders said the performance of the NICVD had been marred due to alleged massive corruption, mismanagement and nepotism, and the main culprit in this regard was the political appointments made by the Sindh government in the health institution.

PTI parliamentary leader in Sindh Assembly Haleem Adil Shaikh, addressing a press conference outside the assembly building, alleged that the provincial government’s corruption was now even devouring the funds of heart patients, which was evident from the mega corruption and poor state of affairs of the NICVD.

“When the Sindh government is asked about its achievements, they cite the NICVD’s performance, but in reality, the health facility has become a den of corruption and mismanagement,” said Sheikh, who is also a central vice-president of the PTI.

He said PPP supremo Bilawal Zardari delivered fierce speeches during sit-ins of the Pakistan Demcorac Movement, “but the provincial government of his own political party in Sindh is even not sparing the funds allocated for the treatment of hearts from corruption and looting”.

The PTI leader also alleged that the PPP-led provincial government was involved in corruption through fake bank accounts, money laundering and fake appointments in several departments, including education, health, local government and revenue. The PPP vehemently rejects all these allegations baseless.

“Lands of the forest department have been encroached upon, while there is mega corruption in pension funds,” he claimed. Sheikh said that the majority of the residents in the province had been living beneath the poverty line and had been compelled to drink sewage-mixed water.

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