TAXILA: The government is going to launch a historic welfare scheme called Naya Pakistan Sehat Card from January under which every family in Punjab will be given a health card.

Minister for Social Welfare and Baitul Mal Syed Yawar Abbas Bukhari said this while talking to patients and their attendants during a surprise visit to District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital in Attock on Monday.

“In the first phase, Naya Pakistan Sehat Card programme will be started from the Lahore Division and later launched in six other divisions of the province,” Mr Bukhari said, adding that every family would be able to get free treatment of up to Rs1 million per annum against one ‘Naya Pakistan Sehat Card’.

As many as 30 million families and 11.5 million people would benefit from this programme.

Says each family to avail free treatment of up to Rs1 million per annum

People usually fall under the burden of debt to get their family members treated which is the reason this initiative is widely anticipated.

It is the completion of another promise made by Prime Minister Imran Khan to the nation.

He said the budget of the health sector was Rs169 billion in the tenure of the previous government, whereas, the current government has made a substantial increase and allocated Rs399 billion.

Mr Bukhari said currently work on projects worth over Rs6 billion was underway which included the Mother and Child Healthcare Hospital, upgradation of DHQ Hospital, Gondal Trauma Centre, Model Children Home, Social Services Unit and establishment of Rescue 1122 field offices in Sheenbagh and Durdad villages.

He said free vocational training of differently-abled people had begun in vocational training institutions whereas admission fees, tuition and hostel fees for them in government institutions had been abolished.

For the first time, he added, boards have been set up in all tehsil headquarters (THQ) hospitals for registration of differently-abled people, determination of disability and issuance of certificates.

We are now launching an online service that will allow people to apply for a disability certificate at home, he said.

The minister said there were 10 panagahs (shelter homes) in Punjab under the Social Welfare Department. “New panagahs at a cost of Rs185 million have been approved in Jhang, Multan and Sahiwal,” he added.

Published in Dawn, December 21st, 2021

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