- Prime minister launches Naya Pakistan Qaumi Sehat Card scheme in Islamabad
Prime Minister Imran Khan launched on Wednesday the Naya Pakistan Qaumi Sehat Card scheme in Islamabad, saying that this will prove to be a defining moment for the country.
Under this scheme, all families of Islamabad, Punjab, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan and Tharparkar will be provided free medical treatment at government and private hospitals.
The health card is meant to enable every family to avail healthcare facilities up to Rs1 million in a year.
Addressing the ceremony, the PM lauded Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar's performance. “So many campaigns were run against him. But when the results of surveys came out, Buzdar was ranked the best CM in the country,” the prime minister said.
He further said that this is the first time in Pakistan that such a unique ambitious programme for providing free healthcare facility to its citizens has been introduced.
"We are spending Rs450 billion on health cards," he said.
"I have observed Britain's health system closely. Was inspired by it that anyone can get treated freely in government hospitals. However, our health card is so advanced and has exceeded Britain's health system," the PM said.
The PM further said that people cannot only get free treatment in government hospitals but also in private ones of their choice.
"Health issues create economic problems for the people and our vision behind this scheme is to at least relieve them of the economic suffering when they get ill," he said.
"When people are deprived of basic needs, how would they think of the nation?"
In his address, Buzdar said all 36 districts of the province will be covered by the scheme by the end of March this year.
The chief minister further said that 23 new hospitals are being established in the province including eight mother and child hospitals while 158 hospitals have been upgraded.