Rawalpindi: The government has failed to complete the Mother and Childcare Hospital at Asghar Mall Road despite spending over Rs1.5 billion from the public exchequer in 2007 and 2008, said Syed Kausar Abbas, executive director of Sustainable Social Development Organisation (SSDO).
Talking to journalists the other day, he said the project was initiated by the government of PML-Q in 2007 but could not be completed due to shortage of time and handed over to the next government in 2008. The Pakistan People’s Party led government in 2008 to 2013 and then Pakistan Muslim League (N) government in 2013 to date has not completed the project yet. The building of the hospital is 70% complete but it is being damaged now because it has been vacant since a decade and no one is taking care of the building. The government is bound to spend money on mother and child healthcare as per sustainable development goals set by the United Nations but the priority of the government seems different than the goals set by the whole world. He said that as per government statistics, the total approved cost of the project was 1,325.044 million rupees in 2007 and increased up to 3,311 million rupees in 2008, which has now increased up to four times due to inflation.
As per the information mentioned in the recent report received under the Right to Information Act, the main building is almost 70% completed, the structure of main building is completed except the fourth floor, Chest Disease Centre OPD is 98% completed, Staff Apartment A type is 100% completed, Staff Apartment B type is 66% completed, doctors hostel is 78% completed, nurses hostel is 22% completed, mosque is 100% completed. The statistics of completion report shows that the minor work of construction is left and major work of equipment is left that needs attention of federal and provincial government to allocate the funds on immediate basis and complete the hospital.
Kausar Abbas said that the government has spent billions of rupees on constructions of roads but did not spend much on the hospitals and schools. The government needs to change its priority and focus on the health and education facilities. He said that this is the only hospital that was formed for the purpose of mother and child health. Many poor females lose their lives because of low quality treatment during pregnancy but the government has not taken any major steps to counter the deaths of females during pregnancy.
Kausar Abbas said that SSDO will launch a campaign with the help of local communities, political stakeholders and media to raise the demand for immediate completion of the mother child care hospital in Rawalpindi. He urged the Prime Minister of Pakistan Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Chief Minister of Punjab Mian Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif to take immediate notice and allocate funds for the incomplete mother childcare hospital in Rawalpindi.