ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday launched National Health Programme for free medical treatment of the poor.
“The program is being launched in 15 districts at the initial stage and will be expanded to 23 districts later,” he said while addressing a function in Islamabad.
The prime minister said the program would be implemented in phases to ensure health insurance to the poor of the entire country.
He said free treatment will be provided to patients suffering from seven fatal diseases like diabetes, cancer and liver impairment.
Nawaz Sharif said medical facilities would be provided at both the government and private hospitals. He said Rs300, 000 would be provided to each patient suffering from a fatal disease; however, Baitul Mal would provide additional money if necessary for treatment.
He said that program was a step towards fulfillment of the PML-N promise for the establishment of a welfare state.
The prime minister said the poor would not have to sell their belongings and house-hold items to get treatment and purchase medicines.
Sharif said strong action would be taken against those who attempted to create hurdles in the way of the implementation of the program or misuse it.
“The government was giving priority to social sectors like education and health. The government would take all the provincial governments along to provide maximum facilities to the poor,” he said.
He said prices of diesel and kerosene oil would be reduced.
Speaking on the occasion, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said the government wanted to expand welfare programs to the entire country. He said funds for the assistance of deserving people had been increased to Rs95 billion from Rs30 billion.
Minister of State for Health Saira Afzal has said public-private programme would provide free health facilities to the poor segment of the society.
Our correspondent reports, health cards will be issued to 1.2 million families in 15 districts in the first phase. The implementation of the program in Islamabad will be monitored to improve it with the passage of time.
The programme is aimed at providing quality healthcare to the poor in public and private hospitals.
Initially the programme is being started in fifteen districts of the country. Under the programme health care cards will be issued to the beneficiaries on which they will get free medical treatment of seven diseases. 1.2 million card holder families will get this facility in the first phase.
The prime minister was given detailed briefing about the programme.
Ishaq Dar, Khurram Dastgir, Minister of State for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Saira Afzal Tarar, Minister of State for Interior Baligh-ur-Rehman, Minister for CADD Dr Tariq Fazal and Maryam Nawaz Sharif were also present.