Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan has launched Naya Pakistan Qaumi Sehat Card scheme in Islamabad on Wednesday.
Under the scheme, all families of Islamabad, Punjab, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), and Tharparkar will be provided free medical treatment of Rs1 million a year at government and private hospitals.
Addressing the launching ceremony of the scheme, PM Khan said Pakistan is the only country in the world to introduce such a unique ambitious programme for providing free health facility to its citizens.
He said through this card, people cannot only get free treatment in public healthcare facilities but also private ones of their choice.
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He said that the health issues create economic problems for the people, adding that their vision behind this scheme is to at least relieve families of the economic suffering when a members gets ill.
The premier said, “A country only achieves the ideal of national security when people own it. When people are deprived of their basic needs, how would they think of the nation and national interest.”
Earlier, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on National Health Services, Dr Faisal Sultan, termed the health card facility a step towards ‘a welfare state’.
He said that the facility, as for now, is for in-patients only but assured it will be expanded for outdoor patients in the future.
Briefing about the scheme on the occasion, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar said all 36 districts of the province will be covered by the scheme by the end of March this year.
He said the Punjab government is spending Rs400 billion rupees on the programme.
He added that 23 new hospitals are being established in the province including eight mother and children hospitals whereas 158 healthcare facilities have been upgraded.
Buzdar said they want to make Punjab a model province in the health sector.