Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Wednesday that provision of health cards to the citizens would ensure complete, free of charge medical coverage, which was unimaginable in the country earlier. Addressing the launching ceremony of Sehat Sahulat Cards for Sehat Sahulat Cards the prime minister said that with the extension of the facility to every family of Punjab, the poor people would no longer have to worry about medical treatment.
He said every family in the two divisions could now avail treatment worth Rs720,000. They could get health facilities in all the public and private hospitals alike. As informed by the Punjab health minister, Rs300,000 additional could be sanctioned to the deserving families when required, he added.
The prime minister said the system of universal health coverage was new and there would be a need for vigilance.
“It will become a safety net and end health concerns of the poor people,” he added. The prime minister also underlined the need to encourage the private sector to fully participate in the health initiatives.
He observed that government-owned land could be offered to the private sector at affordable prices for the construction of hospitals and other health facilities, especially in the remote areas.
The prime minister said he wanted every family in Punjab to have the health card facility.
He said the country was burdened with huge debt in the past and had to pay back the loans with interest, causing further financial pressure.
Appreciating the chief ministers of Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, he said that despite all financial constraints, the two provinces had done a great job with the launch of the health cards initiative covering their whole population.
He asked the Punjab chief minister to pay special attention to the areas lagging in development.
The prime minister noted that migration from rural to urban areas took place due to lack of job opportunities and basic facilities, multiplying the population of cities, which led to a multitude of serious civic issues like sewerage and scarcity of drinking water.
“The development initiatives must include all areas so that none of them should be left behind,” he emphasised.
The prime minister said the child and pregnant women’s mortality rates had been very high in the country, so health facilities must be ensured in all backward areas. He also appreciated an initiative for solarisation of all basic health units in the backward areas of Punjab.
He directed the Punjab police chief to take strict action against gangs of dacoits.
Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Sardar Usman Buzdar has announced Rs13.8 billion development package for Layyah.
Addressing a ceremony held in connection with the launch of Universal Health Coverage Program (UHCP) and development schemes in Layyah on Wednesday, Buzdar said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan has launched the UHCP in seven districts of Dera Ghazi Khan and Sahiwal Divisions.
“Under the health insurance scheme over 4.8 million families will benefit. Every family will be given free medical treatment up to Rs725,000 every year and in addition to this, five days medicine and fare will also be given to the patients,” he highlighted.
He reminded that PM Imran Khan had laid the foundation stone of mother and child hospital costing Rs5.73 billion in Layyah.
The chief minister said that under the Naya Punjab Basic Health Unit (BHU) Solarisation Program, 36 BHUs will be powered through solar energy in Layyah.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 27th, 2021.