peshawar  -  Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan on Thursday said that health and education has been top most priority of PTI government in the province since its inception and the government has taken a series of result-oriented steps to improve services delivery in these sectors.

During a visit to Peshawar Institute of Cardiology (PIC) at Hayatabad, the Chief Minister said that Sehat Card Plus Scheme is the most important initiative of the provincial government which has now been extended to the entire population of the province.

The Chief Minister inaugurated three newly established Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories at PIC completed at a cumulative cost of Rs515 million.

With the establishment of these labs, total number of Cath labs in PIC has increased to six which will resultantly double the daily capacity of the procedures of Angiography and Angioplasty in the institute. The Chief Minister also inaugurated Centralized Sterilization Services Department (CSSD) which has been established at a cost of Rs77 million.

Addressing a ceremony on the occasion, Mahmood Khan said that keeping in view the importance of Sehat Card Scheme, legislation is also in progress to provide legal cover to the scheme to run it on permanent basis. The Chief Minister while lauding the performance of PIC said that the PIC has made remarkable achievements in a very short span of time. He said that PIC is a state-of-the-art healthcare institute of the province which is extending international standard treatment facilities to cardiac patients of the province.

It was a matter of pride for all of us that the PIC has become the first government hospital of Pakistan which has been certified by the International Standard Organisation within one and half years of its establishment, Mahmood Khan remarked. He lauded the overall performance of PIC and said that the entire management of PIC deserved appreciation for their tireless efforts to make PIC a top-level healthcare institute of not only the province but the country as well.

Provincial Cabinet members Taimur Jhagra, Ishtiaq Urmar and Barrister Muhammad Ali Saif were also present on the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion, KP Minister for Health Taimur Jhagra highlighted the performance of health department with special focus on reforms initiatives taken so far by their provincial government.

Briefing about the performance of PIC, Chief Executive Officer Professor Dr Shahkar told the participants that over 43 thousand cardiac patients were checked up whereas over 8000 procedures of angiography and angioplasty were made during last 16 months. Similarly, over 1500 cardiac operations   including 307 children have been carried out during the short span of 16 months.

He said that PIC is the only government hospital which has got approval of post graduate courses within first five months of its inception. Dr Shahkar said that 95 percent patients have been treated free of cost through Sehat Card Plus Scheme. The Chief Minister on the occasion announced Rs550 million fund for Peshawar Institute of Cardiology.