- Initiative will enable every family to avail healthcare facilities of up to one million rupees
- Expresses hope that Pakistan will one day become an Islamic welfare state
Prime Minister Imran Khan launched on Monday the Naya Pakistan Sehat Programme in Punjab, announcing that the entire population of the province would be covered through the health insurance initiative within the next three months.
While addressing the launch ceremony of the initiative in Lahore, the premier said that Punjab's all residents will get the health insurance card from January.
Under the scheme, families can avail free medical treatment of up to Rs1 million per year.
"The Naya Pakistan Health Card is not merely a form of health insurance but represents an entire health system," he said.
The medical facilities offered under the programme include treatment of serious diseases, including cancer, kidney transplantation, heart, diabetics and accidents.
Prime Minister announced that a total of Rs440 billion would be spent on health insurance over a course of three years under the programme in Punjab.
In his address, the premier lauded the Punjab government for implementing the initiative. "This is a landmark, defining moment in the journey of Pakistan becoming a welfare state," the prime minister said.
The premier said that hospitals will also be constructed in remote areas so that healthcare insurance can be available to all citizens. "There is a lack of doctors in those areas, but now the private sector would invest in constructing hospitals in the poorest of areas as everyone will be able to [pay for medical] treatment through health cards," he said.
He also mentioned that Ehsaas Ration Card had been launched to tackle inflation in the country.
"Those whose income is less than Rs50,000 [per month], they will be given the Ehsaas card, through which they will be able to get 30pc discount on wheat flour, ghee and lentils at Kiryana stores until this spell of inflation ends," he said.
"The world is facing inflation and we are doing our best to facilitate our people."
PM Khan expressed hope that Pakistan will one day become an Islamic welfare state as envisioned by our forefathers in the Objective Resolution.
In October, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan said that the scope of the Sehat Sahulat programme had been extended to the entire country.
Dr Sultan maintained that the Sehat Sahulat facility is being provided to the people of erstwhile FATA, Tharparkar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), Azad Kashmir, and Punjab. He added that the facility provides free medical treatment through health cards under Universal Health Coverage.
The SAPM further said that all the permanent residents of Islamabad and Gilgit-Baltistan will get health cards from January next year.