50% Punjab to get health coverage this year: PM

Imran slams Sharif for speaking ‘India's language’

Our Correspondent November 08, 2020


Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday announced that half of Punjab would receive health coverage through the Sehat Sahulat cards by the end of the ongoing year while the facility would be extended to the entire province by 2021.
“This is happening for the first time in Pakistan’s 73-year history that a common man will have health coverage if someone in their family falls sick,” the premier said while addressing a public gathering in Hafizabad after performing the groundbreaking of a university and a 400-bed hospital in the district.
“Even developed countries don’t have a facility like the one that is being provided to the people of Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa,” he added.
The prime minister launched the programme in Swat a day earlier and the entire K-P would be covered under the facility by January next year.
The Sehat card allows each family to avail health insurance of up to Rs1 million a year at the public and private-designated hospitals.
The premier said the initiative would also lead to the development of the network of private hospitals in the two provinces as more people would be able to avail treatment there availing the facility.
“This [initiative] will pave the way for the construction of private hospitals in areas like Hafizabad as even poor people will be able to receive treatment there using the health cards.”
PM Imran noted that besides constructing shelter homes, the government had also launched the Naya Pakistan Housing Programme that allowed people belonging to the lower-income class to avail easy bank loans so that they could build their own homes.
“The loans are available at only 5% mark-up and the beneficiaries can easily pay it back using the amount they were paying for housing rent,” he added.
“Many people have been talking of ‘Roti, Kapra aur Makan’ (food, clothing and shelter), but now for the first time, they [poor] will actually get homes.”
The premier said the present government's policies were aimed at reducing poverty and uplifting the poor segments of the society. “With the help of these policies, the PTI government has decreased poverty in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa from 27% to 18%.”
He added that the journey towards establishing a welfare state had been started and the country would emerge as a great nation on the world map.
“The [current] government will hold the most fair and transparent elections and emerge victorious,” he said, adding that the process of electoral reforms had been started and the latest technology, including the electronic voting, would be used in the polls.
The prime minister reiterated that PML-N supremo and former premier Nawaz Sharif was speaking "India's language" by attacking the country's security establishment.
“This has further strengthened my resolve to bring these plunderers to justice.”
The prime minister described the rallies of the 11-party opposition alliance, the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), as a “circus”. “After plundering the country for 30 years, they [opposition parties] want to escape accountability.”
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB), he added, was subservient to the opposition leaders in the past but the present government had empowered it to work independently.
“The opposition blackmailed the government on the economic crisis, the Covid-19 pandemic and even on the FATF [Financial Action Task Force] legislation just to have NAB abolished,” the premier maintained.
“Should I let them go? Do you feel pity for them?” the prime minister asked the audience.
He further claimed that after having failed to pressure the government, the opposition parties resorted to targeting the judiciary and the military leadership to instigate a coup within the institutions just to cover up their theft.


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