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Transfer of Control: Karachi’s Three Major Hospitals Handed Over to Sindh Government

Date: August 08, 2023

In a strategic move, the federal health ministry is set to transfer the operational control of three prominent tertiary-care hospitals in Karachi to the Sindh government for a period of 25 years. The formal agreement will be sealed in Sukkur through a signing ceremony involving both federal and provincial authorities.

The prestigious Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center (JPMC), the esteemed National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD), and the renowned National Institute of Child Health (NICH) are slated to be seamlessly integrated into the administrative purview of the Sindh Health Department.

While the legal ownership of these hospitals lies with the federal domain, a Supreme Court (SC) verdict has permitted their management under the umbrella of the provincial health department. This local governance approach has been favored by successive governments, underscoring the significance of regional expertise in healthcare administration.

The unveiling of the Sindh Institute of Urology & Transplantation (SIUT) Medical Complex in Sukkur will be inaugurated by Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. With its comprehensive setup encompassing 70 dialysis machines and a capacity of 170 beds, this medical complex aims to address critical healthcare needs. Minister Bhutto-Zardari will also preside over the formal exchange of agreement documents during this event.

Despite apprehensions surrounding the financial intricacies associated with operating JPMC, NICVD, and NICH after the devolution process in accordance with the 18th amendment, the present discourse is primarily centered on the pivotal shift in control. Notably, previous directives from the Supreme Court have urged the federal government to reimburse the provincial administration for hospital-related expenditures.

In a visionary move to extend medical reach, Minister Bhutto-Zardari will also launch a satellite center of the Sindh Institute of Child Health and Neonatology (SICHN) in Sukkur. This satellite facility is poised to cater to the healthcare needs of Upper Sindh, South Punjab, and Balochistan. Originating from its Karachi headquarters, SICHN has established itself as a premier medical institution, and the expansion to a satellite center outside the city constitutes a significant milestone in the realm of healthcare accessibility.

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