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ISLAMABAD: Minister-designate for National Health Services (NHS) Aamir Mehmood Kiyani on Saturday said the establishment of a health city in the federal capital was his topmost priority.

“Currently, Pakistan is facing the severe problem of lack of foreign exchange. On the other hand, a large number of Pakistanis go abroad to get medical treatment. Our foreign exchange is going to India as people go there for different medical procedures and transplants. I would make sure that there would be a world class medical city in Islamabad so that people would also come from different countries for treatment,” he said while talking to Dawn.

Mr Kiyani said Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan started politics with the slogan that he would provide equal healthcare facilities to all the citizens.

“We are also considering that every citizen should have health insurance so that they would get medical facility without any hurdle. We have well-known doctors in and outside Pakistan and will encourage them to return to and invest in the health sector so that not only people would get best possible healthcare facilities but also our precious foreign exchange would be saved,” he said.

Mr Kiyani said he was thinking that the heath city should be operated through a one-window service so that the citizens would book their patients even from abroad and get them admitted to the facility without facing any problem.

He said a large number of Afghan nationals come to Pakistan for treatment and in the first phase efforts would be made to ensure that more and more people from the neighbouring country chose Pakistan for treatment rather than going to India.

In reply to a question, the minister said he would also look into the prices of medicines in the country.

“I want that the pharmaceutical industry should groom but the citizens should not be burdened.”

Meanwhile, outgoing caretaker minister health Mohammad Yusuf Sheikh on Friday held a farewell meeting with officers of the ministry.

Published in Dawn, August 20th, 2018