Sehat Sahulat cards for poor only: Punjab health minister

LAHORE  -  Punjab Caretaker Health Minister Professor Dr Javed Akram has said the government wants to give the Sehat Sahulat cards only to the poor segments of society in the province.

He was addressing the 33rd meet­ing of the steering committee on Health Facilitation Programme at the Punjab Health Initiative Management Company, presided over by Caretak­er Federal Minister for Health Dr. Na­deem Jan.

The Punjab minister, while express­ing his views, said that there was room for further improvement in the health facility programme. When the care­taker setup was installed, he added, Punjab owed the insurance compa­ny Rs200 billion for the health cards. Under the leadership of Punjab Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi, the cabinet took revolutionary steps regarding the health cards, he added. 

He said that major decisions were still being taken to address the de­ficiencies in the health facility pro­gramme. “We are not political people; so we only want welfare of people,” he said. 

Dr Javed Akram said the caretak­ers also faced a negative campaign while improving the Sehat Sahulat pro­gramme. He said that a database of the real beneficiaries was being created in Punjab and added that before for­mation of the caretaker government, Rs260 million a day were being spent on health facility card.

He said that such a huge burden on the people of Punjab is unbearable. “As a result of the revolutionary measures in the health facility programme, we have reduced the expenses by 50 per­cent,” the minister said. He said that the federal government was still obliged to give Rs7 billion to Punjab under the Health Facilitation Programme. He said that the government was spending Rs 70 billion to improve the conditions of the government hospitals in Punjab. He disclosed that about 90 percent of ce­sarean operations were done instead of normal delivery to earn money in the province. Likewise, he added that heart patients had two stents inserted instead of one. 

He said the government was still bearing 60 percent of the expenses of patients, who get treatment on the health card in private hospitals of Pun­jab. All types of emergency, dialysis, cancer treatment and trauma treat­ment are still being done free of charge through Sehat Sahulat card, he clar­ified. The health facility programme would continue uninterruptedly in the province, he said. 

He said the rate of return of pre­mium for the health facility pro­gramme by the previous government was very low. He said that all over the world, the rich help the poor and the healthy help the sick. He said that un­der the leadership of Dr Nadeem Jan, the health facility programme should improve now, adding that in every cabinet meeting, “we have an agen­da to improve the health facility pro­gramme.”

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