ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Monday said access to quality health-care services was the inherent right of every Pakistani which was unfortunately denied to them for long.
While chairing a meeting to review progress on the implementation of Prime Minister’s National Health Programme (PMNHP) at PM House in Islamabad, the prime minister said that it is only through provision of quality and affordable health services that the nation can achieve its full potential and gains on the economic and social fronts.
“We want to reach out to the poorest of the poor with a comprehensive package of curative health services, as I believe that the combination of diseases and poverty could be lethal for any poor family. We will break this deadly nexus between poverty and diseases”, the prime minister said.
The prime minister directed the Ministry of National Health Services for extending the programme to the entire country including Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA), Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK) with stringent monitoring system and zero tolerance for inefficiency at the implementation level.
Nawaz Sharif said that the federal government will implement the programme in the entire country as the remote areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh are more vulnerable to diseases and the prevailing poverty in those areas does not allow people to afford health care facilities.
“Our government will ensure sustainability of this program through uninterrupted and continuous flow of public sector resources. I do not want the pace of this crucially vital programme to be hampered by lack of resources as there is nothing more dearer to me than the success of this initiative,” he said.
While appreciating the supportive role of NADRA and State Life Insurance Corporation of Pakistan to this landmark initiative, the prime minister expressed gratitude to all technical partners of PMNHP including World Health Organization (WHO), World Bank and GIZ.
The Prime Minister’s National Health Program has been launched and services have been commenced in 11 districts namely Islamabad, Quetta, Lasbela, Loralai, Muzaffarabad, Kotli, Skardu, Diamer, Rahim Yar Khan, Khanewal and Narowal.
So far more than 800,000 families have been enrolled in the PMNHP and more than 12,000 individuals have been treated for various illnesses from empanelled hospitals.
Under the directions of the prime minister, the programme will now have a country wide outreach; offering free of cost treatment to the poorest of the poor.
The meeting was attended by Minister of State for National Health Saira Afzal Tarar, Mariam Nawaz Sharif, Special Assistant to PM on Foreign Affairs, Tariq Fatemi and other senior government officials.