Gov’t introduces mega reforms through universal health coverage initiative: Farrukh

Two million people availed free treatment via universal health card: Farrukh

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ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib on Tuesday said the government had introduced the mega health reforms by initiating a universal health coverage scheme to ensure quality services accessible to all.

Talking to the media here, he said the present government was taking concrete measures to provide maximum relief to the masses in the pressing times amid pandemic crises.

Farrukh said under the Universal Health Card scheme, each family was provided Rs 1 million free treatment facility. “A massive improvement is also underway in public hospitals and health units to ensure the better treatment to the deserving people.”

“So far two million people have availed free treatment via universal health card and Rs 46 billion claims are made in this regard.”

He said the Punjab government would spend Rs 400 billion on universal health coverage.

The minister assured that consensus would be developed regarding the uniform education system in the country. The government had also made efforts to improve the education system. Schools were upgraded and development work was also underway on establishing new universities, he added.

He said the Aab-e-Pak (Pure Water) Authority was established in the Punjab province for the provision of cleaning drinking water at the village level.

The public health departments were also provided funds for improving the sanitation system at the district level, he added.

Farrukh said the Punjab Government’s existing development budget was Rs 650 billion, while the Federal Government provided Rs 90 billion additional funds. Now about Rs 740 billion would be spent on development projects in the province.

He said all the provinces were being provided their due share under the National Finance Commission Award (NFC). “Along with the NFC, the Provincial Finance Commission’s role is also very important in channelizing equal share in the development funds for all the districts.”

The Federal Government was providing funds for different sectors, including education, health, and roads connectivity, he added.

He said the Kamayab Jawan program was initiated, while interest-free loans would be provided under the Kamyab Pakistan program. The latter program had already been initiated in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, while it would be launched in Punjab during the current month.

The minister said enabling environment was created for providing shelter to the people. For the first time, he said, a mortgage system was introduced in which banks were bound to provide loans for low-cost housing.

He said loan applications for total Rs 150 billion were received, out of which Rs 103 billion loans were approved, and around Rs 45 billion loans disbursed so far.

Some seven million deserving families were also provided relief under the Ehsaas Kafalat programme, he added.

The minister said an amount of Rs 260 billion was allocated for the Ehsaas programme and work was underway on stunting growth under the Ehsaas Nashonuma. Currently, Ehsaas Nashonuma was providing Rs 1,500 each to boys and Rs 2,000 to girls.

Under the Ehsaas programme, around 50,000 scholarships were annually given to under-graduates in public universities, he added.

Farrukh said the Skill for All programme was providing high tech certification worth Rs 10 billion. Some 0.1 million scholarships were distributed across the country for promotion of web designing, graphic designing and free lancers to increase IT export and also create business opportunities for the youth.

He said there should be consensus on the local government system or local governance system. “We all need to collectively work on it.”

The minister said the first phase of local bodies elections had been completed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the second phase was underway.

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