Punjab allocates Rs400b for health card programme: CM Buzdar

Says 158 hospitals, health centres upgraded across province

Our Correspondent January 01, 2022
Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar addressing a presser in Lahore on June 28. SCREENGRAB


Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has said a new Pakistan national health card project has been launched for the Lahore division for quality health and now no one would have to go to London or the USA for medical treatment.

While addressing the launching ceremony at the Governor House, the CM said the universal healthcare programme was started from Sahiwal and Dera Ghazi Khan divisions and announced to introduce the new Pakistan national health card in the whole of the province by March 2022.

He announced providing free healthcare facilities to 115 million people while the Punjab government would provide Rs400 billion for the national health card programme.

“The promise of free medical treatment of every citizen in Punjab will be fulfilled,” he said, adding “even the developed countries are unable to give such an extraordinary healthcare. Free treatment is the right of the people as public welfare is part of the national constitution as well as the PTI's agenda.”

The CM explained that other health projects would also be completed including the construction of 23 hospitals in different parts of the province. Meanwhile, 158 hospitals and health centres have been upgraded while 91 healthcare schemes would be completed through the district development package. He pointed out that the health budget was Rs169 billion in 2013-18 while the same has swelled to Rs389 billion now. More than Rs37 billion would be spent to provide free medicines in Punjab while around 35,000 jobs have been given in the health sector and the promise of one lakh jobs would also be fulfilled, he said and congratulated health minister, chief secretary and health secretaries over the launch of new Pakistan national health card.

Read More: ‘Citizens across Pakistan getting health cards but Sindh deprived'

Meanwhile, the chief minister has issued instructions to the IG Police to ensure public order and peace on the eve of New Year.

In a statement issued on Friday, the CM directed the police chief that indiscriminate action be taken against aerial firing and hooliganism on New Year night and such individuals should be put behind the bars.

The police should take effective measures to curb the incidents of aerial firing and loutish behaviour and a comprehensive strategy be devised in this regard, he said.

Buzdar also directed the authorities to take steps to prevent one-wheeling on the eve of New Year. He has asked to initiate an indiscriminate crackdown against one-wheelers as this menace could not be tolerated under any circumstances. Action would be taken against the concerned police officer from the district where the complaint of one-wheeling has been reported, he said.

Special teams should be constituted to stop one-wheeling, he added. The one-wheelers would be punished under the law; he stated and added that action should also be taken to curb the menace of underage drivers.

The chief minister said the undemocratic and non-parliamentary attitude of the opposition in the National Assembly was reprehensible.

In a statement issued on Friday, the CM said the opposition violated all established democratic traditions. The unwarranted hue and cry of the opposition was just a failed attempt to show off.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 1st, 2022.


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