ISLAMABAD: Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Tuesday rejected the claim of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) that the ‘Insaf Health Card’ scheme was a copy of the project launched by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
In a tweet, he said the PML-N had actually copied the scheme launched by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in November 2015. The PML-N copied the scheme but failed to achieve its target, he added.
“Noon [PML-N] copied it and inaugurated a PM health card scheme which never reached the masses. If it had reached at proper level they would have maintained a database like the KP government did,” Mr Chaudhry said in the tweet.
The information minister also said that the health insurance scheme was beneficial to the general public and its failure was one of the reasons that the people did not vote for the PML-N, otherwise it would have won the elections with a two-thirds majority like the PTI won in KP.
The ‘Sehat Insaf Card’ scheme was launched by Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday as the first phase of the countrywide programme to provide free medical treatment to around 80 million people.
However, the PML-N criticised it as a re-enactment of the “PM’s National Health Programme” launched by then prime minister Nawaz Sharif in 2016. It was initially launched for Islamabad with the target to expand it to other parts of the country, including Punjab, Balochistan, Islamabad and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas as it was not part of KP at that time. But the governments of Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had declined to become part of the federal government’s programme.
Published in Dawn, February 6th, 2019