PESHAWAR: The newly-elected Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government on Thursday decided to fully restore free healthcare for the entire population of the province under the Sehat Card Plus insurance scheme from Ramazan 1.

The decision was made in a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Ali Amin Khan Gandapur here, according to an official statement.

Chief secretary Nadeem Aslam Chaudhary, additional chief secretary Syed Imtiaz Hussain Shah, principal secretary to the CM Amjad Ali Khan, health secretary Mahmood Aslam and officials of the State Life Insurance Corporation attended the meeting.

The participants were informed that the provincial government had released Rs5 billion to the SLIC as the chief minister ordered the restoration of the health insurance scheme.

Officials say Rs5bn paid to State Life, other dues to be cleared gradually

The meeting also decided in principle to release Rs5 billion on a monthly basis for the payment of arrears to the SLIC, according to the statement.

Mr Gandapur said people’s welfare was a key priority of his government, and the Sehat Card Plus was a project of public importance that would be continued at all costs.

He said that funds for the payment of arrears to the SLIC would be provided on a priority basis. “This is a matter of public health, so there won’t be any compromise on it,” he said.

The chief minister said necessary reforms would also be introduced to ensure transparency in Sehat Card Plus scheme.

Also, the chief minister chaired a meeting regarding the control of prices of daily commodities and ordered authorities to give maximum relief to the people during Ramazan.

Officials briefed participants about the proposed price control mechanism for providing relief to people and said the district administrations were to put that mechanism in place without delay.

They said control rooms had been established at district level for the purpose.

The officials said mobile teams would be deployed in all districts besides the establishment of monitoring desks in markets to ensure that people are provided with edible items in line with the rates fixed by the provincial government.

Mr Gandapur directed authorities to go all-out to provide the maximum relief in prices to the people in Ramazan.

He directed district administrations to ensure regular monitoring of markets and deal strictly with profiteers.

The CM said the government won’t set up special sasta bazaars in Ramazan, and instead all bazaars in the province would be converted into sasta bazaars.

He directed DCs to ensure the display of price lists on panaflex instead of paper.

“All deputy commissioners should utilise social media platforms in an effective manner for ensuring direct coordination with people, and highlight action against profiteers on social media,” he said.

Mr Gandapur also directed DCs to publicise their WhatsApp numbers to receive complaints from people for resolution.

He said Ramazan Daster Khwan would be arranged at district and tehsil headquarters hospitals across the province.

The CM also ordered authorities to check hoarding and black marketing of essential goods and said the Special Branch should be engaged for the purpose.

Published in Dawn, March 8th, 2024

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