LAHORE: Punjab government has decided keep the Mobile Health Units (MHUs) for the next tenure instead of recruiting new doctors and paramedical staff for the existing hospitals, Pakistan Today has learnt.
For the approval of revised PC-1 worth of Rs 825 million for the said project, Punjab Primary & Secondary Healthcare Department has sent a summary to the Planning & Development Department.
The project was conceived as an outsource model in 2010 through which six MHUs were established in six districts of the Punjab. These districts include Rajanpur, Muzaffargarh, Mianwali, Dera Gazi Khan and Bahawalpur where government has already spent millions of rupees during the last six years. The purpose of these MHUs was to provide basic health facilities to the people of Punjab who are living in remote rural areas.
Following the continuity of this project, the Punjab government will again outsource its six MHUs in said districts where a huge of amount of Rs 835 million will be spent during 10 months, which, according to official documents, have been started from September 2017.
According to the draft of the revised PC-1 available with Pakistan Today, the government will outsource its six of the MHU to a private firm Medi Urge (Private) Limited which would be responsible for its operational and maintenance matters. Documents read that the operational cost which includes salaries of staff, POL, logistics, medicines, lab tests, insurance and maintenance of the equipment etc to be provided to the firm was included in the project cost. These six MHUs will be operating on the basis of 24/7 in three shifts (morning, event and night).
In the morning shift, each MHU will treat 200 patients for which the government of Punjab will pay Rs 310 for each patient for the total working days in every month. “In case of any increase or decrease in the number of patients and expenses, the service provider has to serve the same at the same price for at least one year,” the document reads. It also said that the Punjab government will pay Rs 123 more in term of medicine, laboratory test and operational charges.
In the evening shift each MHU will treat 150 patients and for each patient the government will pay Rs 425; Rs 123 more will be paid in term of medicine, laboratory test and operational charges.
In the night shift, the MHUs will treat 50 patients and for each patient the government will pay Rs 700 while Rs 130 will be paid in terms of medicine, laboratory test and operational charges.
Therefore, Punjab will spend Rs 16,107,600 per month for morning shift, Rs 15,289,200 per month for evening shift and Rs 10,443,900 per month for the night shift to these six MHUs.
Sources privy to the development told Pakistan Today that the project of establishing MHUs was a short term one as it will be helpful to treat a limited numbers of patients for a limited time period. The sources added that this huge amount of Rs 835 million would be spent just for political motives and there was no rationality in this project.