ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday launched Naya Pakistan Sehat Card in the federal capital, saying the universal health coverage will prove a great step towards turning Pakistan into a welfare state.
Speaking on the occasion, the premier said that every family of Islamabad, Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and Tharparkar can get medical facility up to Rs1 million in both government and designated private hospitals in a year.
Terming the universal health coverage initiative is a defining moment for Pakistan as the weaker segment of the society has been enabled for the healthcare, which was only available to the elite class of the country.
He said uplifting of the poor and rule of law are the two main principles being followed to make Pakistan a true welfare state on the pattern of the State of Madina. He said that Naya Pakistan Sehat Card is the biggest ever health programme being executed in the country with a hefty amount of Rs450 billion.
He said that the initiative will establish a new health system in the country, adding that both the government and private hospitals will spring into competition due the programme.
The private hospitals, which are being facilitated in land acquisition and import of medical equipment, would move to rural areas.
Earlier addressing the ceremony, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar said all the people in thirty-six districts of the province will be covered with this healthcare by March this year.
The Chief Minister said that 23 new hospitals, including eight mother and child hospitals, are being constructed in Punjab while 158 others are being upgraded.
In his introductory remarks, Special Assistant on National Health Services Dr. Faisal Sultan said that healthcare programme is a major step toward a welfare state.
He said that several serious diseases will be treated free through this card.
Every day thousands of patients in these provinces/regions are benefiting from the health card facility, and are extremely satisfied and grateful.
The beneficiaries state that before provision of Sehat Card, they had to either take a loan or sell some asset to access better healthcare. But with the provision of Universal Health Coverage, they can now avail free treatment even in the best private hospitals.