Govt to spend Rs400b on health cover

CM says all families will benefit from scheme after March

Our Correspondent January 27, 2022


Every family in Punjab will have access to medical treatment free of charge through the national health card by the end of March.

Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar said on Wednesday that the Punjab government would spend Rs400 billion on the universal health insurance programme. He said Prime Minster Imran Khan’s dream of providing the best healthcare facilities to the people had been realised through the scheme.

The facility has been introduced in Rawalpindi division about three million families to avail free treatment costing up to Rs1 million per annum from 56 hospitals on a panel. The chief minister was addressing the launch ceremony of the card at the PM Office in Islamabad.

He said 110 million people of the 36 districts of Punjab would benefit from the programme. The chief minister said the Punjab government had paid special attention to the improvement of the health sector. “Improving the quality of health care facilities is our top aim,” he highlighted.

He said Punjab would be developed as a model province in health sector because of the hard work of the team serving n the field. The chief minister said 23 new hospitals were being built in Punjab along with upgrade of health facilities.

The incumbent government has increased the budget of the health sector 200 times as compared to its predecessor, he said.

He announced that eight hospitals for mothers and children were being set up in remote areas of Punjab. In three and a half years, 158 hospitals have been upgraded; 78 new health facilities have been built and the day is not far when PM Imran Khan’s vision of extending the best health facilities to the people would be fulfilled, he added.

The whole of Pakistan, including Punjab, would benefit from the facility of the health card because people have the right to access quality healthcare facilities he said. The pledge was also a part of the manifesto of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, the chief minister added.

Meanwhile, Punjab Assembly Members from Gujrat Saleem Sarwar Jora, Mian Muhammad Akhtar Hayat, Chaudhry Liaquat Ali and Muhammad Arshad Chaudhry called on Chief Minister Buzdar and discussed issues related to their constituencies.

The chief minister said on the occasion that the reply to negative politics had always been given with public service. “We are working and the opposition is spreading lies but PDM’s anarchistic designs won’t work. Only the politics of service will be accepted here.”

He said the government had the honour to present the largest development budget in the history of Punjab. Work is under way on a composite development programme of Rs740 billion for the financial year 2021-22, he said.

A special package has been given for the development of each area and no place will be deprived of the fruits of development, he said.

In the past, people were deceived in the name of development and real development was started by the incumbent government, he claimed.

The chief minister also alleged in a statement that the opposition had put aside national interest.

He said the opposition wanted to fulfil its negative intentions by spreading chaos. The opposition had engaged in negative politics at every opportunity, he said, adding that it has been fully exposed to the public.

The PTI-led government has been given a five-year mandate and the government will complete its term. Conspiratorial elements will continue to cry as before, he stated. The Pakistanis will not be fooled by the reckless elements and the intentions of the rejected elements will fail as before, the CM concluded.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 27th, 2022.


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