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Underprivileged to get free treatment at private hospitals as govt launches health insurance

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ISLAMABAD: State Minister for Health Saira Afzal Tarar at the launch of the National Health Programme here on Thursday announced the issuance of health cards which will enable the underprivileged in receive treatment at private and public hospitals free of charge.

Tarar said the prime minister’s card allows Rs50,000 for the treatment of common illnesses “such as the flu, cough and hepatitis”, and sets aside Rs300,000 for more serious conditions like “angioplasty, bypass and dialysis”.

“If this limit finishes while they are at the hospital, the patients will not be forced to leave the hospital,” she said. “We signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the treasury for them, and their limit will be extended to Rs600,000.”

“Those who earn daily wages of less than Rs200 qualify for the programme,” she said, adding that treatment will be provided without discrimination “whatever your religion, sect or province”.


Salient features of the National Health Programme:

  • Treatment for underprivileged at both public and private hospitals without delay
  • Rs50,000 on PM’s cards for treatment of common illnesses
  • Rs300,000 set aside for treatment of serious medical conditions
  • Limit can be extended to Rs600,000 if funds run out during treatment at hospital

“The federal and provincial governments will work together on this programme,” she said. “The federal government is providing Rs9 billion for treatment,” the health minister said, adding that treatment will be possible at public and private hospitals.

“Those living below the poverty line will be provided health insurance and can receive treatment for any fatal disease,” Prime Minister Nawaz said while addressing attendees at the launch of the programme.

“No one will have to sell their personal belongings in order to pay for treatment,” the PM said.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif while attending the launch was given a briefing of the project. Maryam Nawaz, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Commerce Minister Khurram Dastagir Khan are also in attendance at the launch.