Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has accorded approval for the construction of 39 state-of-the-art hospitals across the country at the cost of Rs110 billion. The approval was granted for construction of three hospitals in Islamabad with a capacity of 600-bed each, besides ten 500-bed hospitals and twenty 250-bed hospitals across the country. The Prime Minister said the government was simultaneously targeting poverty and disease through infrastructure development and establishment of healthcare infrastructure across the country. The Prime Minister said it was the responsibility of the government to ensure healthy living for the citizens, so that they could contribute towards the development and prosperity of the country without any hindrance. The Prime Minister has also directed that Federal Government should complete the structure and run this hospital and approve allocation of funds for completing the hospital within next 18 months.
The approval for construction of hospitals on such a large scale is commendable and must be lauded. The Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PMLN) government is often blamed for focusing more on communication infrastructure rather than spending on public welfare projects. If the plan to construct hospitals on this scale goes ahead it will greatly nullify the negative press the ruling party gets in terms of its development priorities. At the same time the government must also work towards improving the already functioning hospitals. After the introduction of the Prime Minister Healthcare Program earlier this year this is the second major initiative the party has taken. It remains to be seen whether this plan can be implemented or not but it would indeed be revolutionary if the plan is implemented.
Prioritizing the healthcare sector is a laudable move by the ruling party.