Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday conducted surprise visits to public offices, hospitals, police stations, schools, Panah Gah shelter homes and development schemes in Sargodha.
Accompanied by his adviser on health, Zafar Mirza, the premier inspected different wards of the District Headquarters (DHQ) hospital in Sargodha and interacted with patients and their families.
He spent around 20 minutes at the hospital and was briefed on the facility’s conditions by the management. The premier was informed of a shortage of beds in the paediatric and male wards.
The prime minister expressed dissatisfaction over the facilities available. He asked the management about where patients were being brought in from and the nature of diseases being reported at the hospital.
He was told that most patients were from Sargodha, Khushab and Mianwali and that stomach-related issues were on the rise in the area.
PM Imran then headed to Khushab where he paid a visit to the DHQ hospital and was briefed on its affairs and available facilities.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government has made social welfare and poverty alleviation its core priorities, as part of its efforts to make Pakistan an Islamic welfare state.
Welfare programmes launched by the government over the past nine months include ‘Ehsas’, an initiative aimed at uplifting the downtrodden and vulnerable segments of society.
Under the initiative, the government will allocate an additional amount of Rs80 billion in the country’s social protection spending in backward areas from the current year, raising it to Rs120 billion in 2021.
PM Imran has previously vowed that provision of food, shelter, education and health facilities by the state is a fundamental right of citizens.
He has also announced the establishment of a new ministry to alleviate poverty. Various institutions likes the Benazir Income Support Programme, the Pakistan Baitul Mal and the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund will work under the new ministry, developing a one-window operation for the social protection of the poor and to facilitate citizens.
Under a separate programmne, ‘Kifalat’, the government is designing a conditional cash transfer for healthcare and education of six million women and families so that they can have access to nutrition assistance.
The government has also vowed to increase the current Benazir Income Support Programme cash transfer of Rs5,000 to Rs5,500.
The PTI-led government is also launching a precision safety net, called ‘Tahafaz’ to protect individuals from catastrophic risks – a transparent and trackable digital system of cash transfers through which the government will give legal aid, education grants and health assistance to those without Insaf card entitlements.
The government is also launching the ‘Insaf Insurance Card’ in 38 districts for 3.3 million people over a four-year period and has committed Rs33 billion for this purpose.
In addition, through ‘Tahafaz’, the government will cater to additional needs of those requiring financial access to treatment.