Over 9.6m people treat through health card in KP

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Govt spent Rs39 billion on free-treatment says KP’s health minister
PESHAWAR
The provincial minister for health and finance on Thursday shared that nearly 9.6 million people in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have so far received free treatment through the health card scheme.
Releasing data pertaining to the scheme, KP’s health minister Taimur Saleem Jhagra said that people of the province had received free treatment facilities worth more than Rs39 billion in different government and private hospitals.
He said the program was launched in line with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) manifesto and moving forward with utmost success and has obtained international recognition and acknowledgment.
Taimur Saleem Jhagra while addressing a press conference along with Provincial Minister for Higher Education Kamran Bangash said that the health card prevents many people from falling into poverty.
“KP government scheme to provide free of cost health facilities to people holding CNIC of the province is praised and accepted worldwide today,” he added. Jhagra maintained that at least 1043 government and private hospitals across the country have been empanelled to provide free treatment facilities through the card.
He said utilization of health card facilities in public sector hospitals has gone up to 33 percent and 52 percent of women have been treated on the health card so far.
The provincial minister for health accused the federal government for halting funds to extend the same facilities for people living in tribal areas.
“At the request of Maryam Nawaz, the vice president of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) the tribal districts were removed from the health card. But the province provided the health card facility to the residents of the tribal districts from its own resources,” he alleged.
Jhagra more than 200,000 children have undergone heart surgery free of cost through health card and the provincial government has decided to spend Rs35 billion free treatment under the public health sector.
The health minister added that currently at least nine hospitals were running under public-private partnership in the remote areas of the province and attempts would be made to increase the number of hospitals under the partnership.
“The function of the health department is to provide public health services to the common man. We have doubled the budget of the health department in three years to address the shortage of staff,” he added.