Lahore (Web Desk): Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday launched the Naya Pakistan Health Insurance Programme for all residents of Punjab province.
Addressing the launching ceremony at Governor's House in Lahore, the premier said that starting from January 2022, the Sehat Card would be distributed across the province within three months allowing whole of the Punjab population to avail free medical treatment worth Rs 1 million a year at both government and private hospitals.
Imran Khan said that Riyasat-e-Madina was the first welfare state in world history.
He said that a welfare state like Madina can only be established once humanity is served in any country.
“Our family had to face many hardships when my mother was suffering from cancer. Then I had thought about building a cancer hospital especially for poor people,” PM Imran said.
He said that Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital was set up under the same philosophy.
PM Imran said that Rs 10 billion are spent annually for treatment of cancer patients at Shaukat Khanum Hospital.
The premier said that Pakistan was meant to be Islamic welfare state under the Objectives Resolution.
He appreciated the Punjab Chief Minister and Health Minister for launching Naya Pakistan Health Card Programme in the province.
Imran Khan said that thirty million Health Cards will be distributed among all families in province within three month, starting from Lahore in January next year.
“Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government's economic policy during Corona crisis was appreciated by world community and we did not enforce strict lockdown despite opposition's criticism, because we considered about welfare of poor people here,” the premier said.
He said that measures are being taken to control price hike, though it is a global trend these days.
PM Imran said that Rs440 billion will be spent on the Health Card Programme in three years.
He said that due to this programme, the private sector will be encouraged to invest in the healthcare sector and hospitals will be set up in every backward area.
PM Imran said that the government is taking every possible step to facilitate the public during price hike time.
He said that Ehsaas Ration Card will be provided to half the population of Pakistan with every family whose monthly income is below Rs50, 000 and they will get a 30% discount on flour, pulses and sugar from ‘Karyana’ stores.
“6.2 million scholarships are being provided to youth, worth Rs47 billion to encourage deserving students from poor families,” PM Imran said.
Addressing the ceremony, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar said that the health sector is provincial government's top priority. He said that nine hospitals have been set up in the last three years.
Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmeen Rashid said that said the government had already distributed cards among 5.2 million families out of those 0.7 million families had availed the facility.
She said considering the provision of the facility to 30 million families, the private sector is also building more hospitals or expanding the existing ones.
The distribution of the Sehat Card would be started from Lahore followed by Rawalpindi and then other districts.