THE health card aims at providing health insurance to the people, and families across Punjab are expected to get it by the end of next month. Under the scheme, the families can get free medical treatment of up to Rs1 million per year. After Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Punjab is set to become the second province to offer its residents universal health coverage. According to the details of the programme, Rs440 billion will be spent on health insurance over a course of three years.
Millions in the country do not have adequate access to healthcare facilities. This programme will allow the poor people of the country access to decent medical care by allowing them to be treated even at private hospitals. However, the main purpose of the scheme is to establish an equitable healthcare setup. The lack of doctors is a serious issue in rural areas, and investment by the private sector under the Sehat Sahulat programme by way of establishing hospitals and clinics in remote areas will be beneficial to the people. The programme, one hopes, will also force public-sector hospitals to provide better healthcare and improve their services to compete with private-sector facilities.
It is hoped that the programme would soon be expanded to other provinces as well, especially Balochistan, where there is not much in the name of healthcare delivery mechanism. Hopefully, the government will fulfil its promise of providing universal health care to all citizens across the country.
LINGUISTICS: This is with reference to the special supplement on Kashmir Solidarity Day (Feb 5) which brought into sharp focus the sad plight of our brethren in occupied Kashmir. However, sadder still were the English language skills of the federal ministry of information and broadcasting whose half-page tribute ‘tears of grief’ boldly displayed the grammatically incorrect caption, ‘When the world will awake?’, instead of the correct version, which would be, ‘When will the world awaken?’ Very depressing, indeed.
Abdul Murad Veerjee
HIGHWAY RESTAURANTS: On Karachi-Quetta N-25 motorway, bus drivers stop at various restaurants that charge exorbitant prices for mediocre food which is neither fresh nor even cooked properly. Nobody complains because of the rude behaviour of the owners and also because there is no other option. The relevant officials should maintain a check on the prices and the quality of food at such outlets.
Noor Shah Saleem
EQUALLY HARMFUL: The tobacco manufacturers are penetrating the market with products, like e-cigarettes, vapes, smokeless, etc., which are as dangerous as the conventional tobacco products as far as the impact on human health is concerned. Implementing the National Tobacco Control Policy, the government should ban e-cigarettes and other products. Moreover, the tobacco control laws should be part of our curriculum for the purpose of creating awareness at a young age.
Muhammad Hamza Sultani
PARKING MAFIA: The matter of illegal parking is still pending in Sindh High Court, but the mafia is still out there and operating freely. Recently, I went to a shopping centre where a person demanded from me Rs30 for parking and gave me a parking ticket against it. I showed the ticket in a nearby market where I was asked for parking fee again and he refused to accept the ticket. I wonder who is responsible for this and who is behind this mafia.
Muhammad Aaqib Channa
Published in Dawn, February 12th, 2022