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The federal government was always seen reluctant to sponsor and initiate developmental schemes in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister, Pervez Khattak Tuesday said that federal government was always seen reluctant to sponsor and initiate developmental schemes in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. “The Workers Welfare Board (WWB) had to construct the first ever Burn and Trauma Centre in this terror hit province but this centre entity did not take interest and hence the responsibilities is now taken by USAID to complete it”, he maintained. He said the federal government has to launch different public welfare projects in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa but it did not happen though Prime Minister kept on announcing projects worth billions of rupees but unfortunately it did not turn up to complete even a single among them. He was addressing MoUs ceremony with USAID at Chief Minister House Peshawar. Two agreements were inked in health sector on this occasion. Under the Ist agreement, USAID will provide 15 million dollars (Rs. (1.6 billion approximately) plus technical support for establishment and operationalization of Burn and Trauma Hospital at Hayatabad Medical Complex Peshawar. The building of this 120-bed burn centre is almost (90%) completed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa C&W department. Its total cost is Rs.1682.16 million out of which $ 15.00 million (Rs. 157 million approx) will be borne by USAID. Similarly the donor agency will also launch three years health initiative projct namely KFHI in seven districts (Chitral, Dir Lower, Upper, Swat, Malakand, Buner and Shangla) of Malakand Division in Khyber Pakhtnkhwa and six agencies of FATA including Bajour, Mohmand, Khyber, Orakzai, Kurram and South Waziristan. Under the agreement costing $ 14.88 million (Rs. 1.7 billion approx) USAID will sustainably increase the availability of quality maternal and child (esp newborn) health services in the entire Malakand Division and FATA to improve the health outcomes of mothers and their children there. The ceremony besides Shahram Khan Tarakai, Senior Minister for Health, Chief Secretary Abid Saeed and Secretary Health Abid Majeed was also addressed by Kevin Brownawell, Deputy Mission Director USAID and Raymond McGrath US Consul General in Peshawar who highlighted various features of the projects as well as lauded reforms of KP government in various sectors including health. The Chief Minister said that health sector was the top most priority of his government and that was why health emergency was declared soon after our coming at the helm of affairs. He acknowledged the contributions of USAID for development of KP in different sectors adding that providing 15 billion dollars for the completion of state of the art Burn and Trauma Centre in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will held start 60 bedded Burn Unit and 60 bedded Plastic Surgery Unit in Hayatabad Medical Complex Peshawar. This will be a first of its kind in this province, he maintained and contended that burn or acid-hit patients will then never had to travel to Hasan Abdal or other remote parts of the country but the facility will now be available here with so many additional features as well. He said health sector is the priority of our government in the context that we emphasized three things from the very beginning. First was development of the system, second was strengthening of service delivery and third was pro-poor initiatives to provide equity based opportunities to the poor of this province. The Chief Minister hinted that we carried out comprehensive legislation in all sectors including health services. It started from giving autonomy to tertiary care hospitals to mental health, food safety, organ transplant, breast feeding and child nutrition. Pervez Khattak said his government invested heavily in development of human resources and health infrastructure. The number of doctors was doubled. Hence we increased the public to doctor ratio from over 6000 to around 4000 per doctor in the province. It shows over 40% health coverage and vivid improvement in doctor to patient ratio. He said our health budget now stands at 65.7 Billion. This means our per capita spending has gone up from 7 dollars to around 16 dollars plus, he added. Chief Minister said this step has provided increased and convenient access to public. Last year number of people using our facilities for OPD or indoor treatment has gone up to 100 percent. Similarly, he said more deliveries and surgeries are being carried out at all health facilities. He said, we are more conscious of standards and have a working health care commission. The first performance audit of tertiary care hospitals has just been carried out. Our pro poor initiatives have been widely acknowledged by all and sundry. He said, as a step forward, we may also work of family physicians in periphery and public private partnership in running our District Hospitals very soon. The Chief Minister also appreciated the cooperation of USAID input into the mother and child care programme in six districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and seven agencies of FATA. He said we are already providing a cash grant of Rs 2700 to expectant mothers to encourage them for visits to hospitals at intervals. He said, we need to access these females especially the ones on verge of womanhood – be it in nutrition or reproductive health. He said that our access at grass root level is only possible through a robust LHW CMW program. Earlier the USAID mission held a detailed meeting with Chief Minister and discussed matters of mutual interest wherein necessary decisions were also taken. <><<><><><><>