ISLAMABAD: Provision of only Rs 270 million by the government during the last seven years in respect of Rs 680 million cancer treatment project in Nishtar Hospital Multan has triggered grave concern and dismay among the people particularly cancer patients in Southern Punjab. Owing to lack of treatment facilities in this largest hospital of Southern Punjab, thousands of cancer patients breathe their last every year.The number of cancer patients is recorded the highest in South Punjab as compared to other parts of the country. Central Development Working Party (CDWP) had approved Rs 680 million in 2009 for providing treatment facilities for cancer patients in Nishtar Hospital Multan (NHM).According to official documents available with daily Times only Rs 270 were released out of sanctioned grant of Rs 680 million during the last seven years for providing treatment facilities to cancer patients in NHM. Separate departments for treatment of all diseases have been carved out only in NHM to cater to the needs of people of South Punjab which covers 60 percent area of Punjab province but the medical facilities in every department stands reduced to nullity for want of funds. Rs 680 million project for improvement in treatment for cancer patients was approved in 2009 and even half of the funds could not be provided during the period of 7 years. Only 33 percent of total approved funds have been released so far.It has been proposed to allocate Rs 100 million in the budget for financial year 2016-17 for improvement in the treatment for cancer patients in NHM. On the other hand it has been proposed to earmark billion of rupees for other projects.Federal government has proposed to allocate Rs 29 billion for education and health and Rs 193 billion for construction of roads in the budget for the fiscal 2016-17. This shows health and education are not on the radar screen of the government.The people are forced to undergo treatment in private hospitals due to lack of proper treatment facilities in the government hospitals while the poor people cannot afford to pay the hefty expenses in private clinics.The education, health and infrastructure facilities are next to nil in South Punjab which is fomenting sense of deprivation among them.According to a research report the South Punjab is victim of water borne disease due to supply of polluted and contaminated water to the people.The federal government has proposed to earmark only Rs 100 million for treatment of cancer patients in NHM in the budget for the financial year 2016-17 which are nothing but a peanut. What improvement this small amount will bring in the treatment facilities for cancer patients, this is question which slips from every tongue of people from this most neglected area of Punjab.