Home Latest News All Families in Punjab to Receive Health Cards by March: Imran Khan

All Families in Punjab to Receive Health Cards by March: Imran Khan

by Newsweek Pakistan

Photo courtesy PID

Launching health insurance scheme in Lahore, prime minister says government will soon shutter DHQ hospitals to facilitate private sector

Every family in Punjab will be covered by the Naya Pakistan Sehat Card by March, Prime Minister Imran Khan announced on Friday, as he formally launched the scheme in provincial capital Lahore at Governor’s House.

Describing the health insurance scheme as a “big step” toward Pakistan becoming a welfare state, he said the government would spent Rs. 400 billion to offer health insurance to 30 million families across Punjab. He claimed that this investment in the health card scheme would facilitate the development of a more efficient healthcare system, and would also reduce a need for the government to establish new hospitals. “Now, the private sector will come forward and establish hospitals across the province,” he said, adding that investors would be incentivized to acquire land on subsidized rates and be able to avail duty-free imported medical equipment.

This measure, he claimed, would result in the private sector offering “quality” treatment to all citizens, even residents of far-flung areas.

The prime minister said that the government wanted to shut down all district headquarters (DHQ) hospitals, as they were lying “deserted” due to an absence of doctors. “Why should the government spend money if doctors are not going to the DHQ hospitals to serve the masses?” he said. “The government wants all the poor people to be facilitated and helped to rise as was the case in the welfare state of Madina,” he said, noting that such systems existed in Europe but not Muslim states.

Khan noted that the health cards had already been launched in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and after Punjab they would be extended to Balochistan, Pakistan-administered Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan—all the regions where the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf is in government.

Addressing media after the event, Information Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain urged the PPP-led Sindh government to join the PTI in offering the same facility to the people of the province.

Earlier, addressing the launch ceremony, Chief Minister Usman Buzdar said the health card was being launched for Lahore division after earlier being made available to residents of the Sahiwal and DG Khan divisions. Once all of Punjab is covered, he said, it would facilitate 115 million people.

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