Welfare state model not an ‘overnight pursuit’, says Imran

Promises to revolutionise health sector

February 15, 2020 08:10 PM

Prime Minister Imran has said that Pakistan is heading towards the welfare model, but it is not an ‘overnight pursuit’. He said the government was committed to revolutionize the health sector in the country and the decision to waive off customs duty on import of medical equipment was a step to achieve the goal.

Addressing Insaaf Health Card distribution ceremony at the Governor’s House in Lahore, he said the duty-free import of medical equipment would encourage hospitals to provide better health facilities to the masses, adding more incentives would be given to the private sector to establish hospitals as government alone could not establish hospitals.

The ceremony marked the conclusion of Insaaf Health Card distribution in all 36 districts of Punjab under which 4.8 million families out of a total of 7.2 million have been handed the cards.

A family can spend Rs 720,000 annually for medical treatment on the Insaaf Health Card. Prime Minister Imran Khan distributed Insaaf Health Cards under the Health Sahulat Program to the deserving families of Lahore, Gujrat and Mandi Bahauddin.

“Distribution of Insaaf Health Cards to 7.2 million families in Punjab was a step towards emulating the ideal state of Madinah established by last Prophet of Allah Hazrat Muhamamd (SAAW),” the prime minister said.

Imran said that he is thankful to Dr Sahiba (referring to Dr Yasmeen Rashid). The PM said “I had not promised to make Pakistan the Asian tiger, but to follow the model of the state of Medinah.”

He said that the most critical time for a poor family is when one of them falls sick, as it cannot afford the medical expenses, adding that “now any person could get free treatment at the hospital.”

Imran said that he had resolved to do the welfare of the people after retirement from cricket, saying that helping people changes a man’s life. He said that he has fulfilled his promise.

However, irked by unfavourable media reporting, the PM said that some media channels are waging propaganda against him on daily basis, asking where is “Naya Pakistan.” He said it is a pre-planned campaign against his government. “We’re heading to the welfare model, it is not an overnight pursuit.”

 “We need more hospitals for the ever-increasing population. We’re on the path to revolutionary changes regarding health reforms. We’ve already waived all duties on the imports of medical equipment.”

Clarifying a general perception, Imran said that they are not privatizing the hospitals. However, he added that the government intends to encourage the private sector in constructing hospitals, adding “it’s not privatization but liberation.”

About the recent wheat and sugar crises, he admitted that “we are also responsible for this crisis,” adding “the investigation is underway and whoever is behind it, we’ll not spare them.”

Imran said that people will see development in the country within months, and “we’ll defeat this mafia.”

 CM Buzdar

Before PM’s address, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar addressed the Health Card Distribution ceremony. He said that all 36 districts of Punjab will be provided free healthcare. He said the Punjab government is trying to provide basic health facilities to the people of the province.

Buzdar said that there was no hospital constructed in last 30 years in Lahore, adding that this government will construct two hospitals in Lahore. In addition, Children’s Hospital and Ganga Ram Hospital will also be upgraded.

Buzdar said that everyone including the eunuchs will be benefited from the health cards.

Visit to food authority mobile lab

Imran Khan also visited the state-of-the-art mobile laboratory of the Punjab Food Authority.

The mobile lab has the capability to test food adulteration in milk and water on-spot. Director General Punjab Food Authority briefed the prime minister about the working of mobile labs, PM office media wing said in a press release.

Meeting with Governor

Punjab Governor Ch Sarwar called on PM Imran Khan to discuss a range of topics. Sawar briefed the PM about Governor House Business Plan, projects of Punjab Aab-e-Pak authority and opening of Governor House for public for two days a week.

He assured PM Imran Khan that Punjab Aab-e-Pak authority will provide safe drinking water to 20 million people by June 2020. “We are installing water plants in Lahore and entire Punjab with consultation of public representatives.

“As per business plan corporate sector is being allowed to hold their events in Governor House,” he said.

PM Imran Khan during the meeting said that the government is striving to make the country strong and stable.

Earlier the prime minister also had a one-on-one meeting with Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar.

Police Khidmat Markaz portal

Prime Minister Imran Khan also inaugurated global portal of ‘Police Khidmat Markaz’ at Punjab Safe Cities Authority (PSCA) office in Lahore.

Talking on the occasion, he said that adopting modern policing tools were pivotal to overcome crimes in the society.

Expressing his satisfaction over the performance of Punjab Safe Cities Authority (PSCA), he said that there was need to expand network of the PSCA. He said that the portal would help in facilitating the people and to get their problems solved on speedy grounds.

He said keeping in view the available resources, the Punjab police had to work with more devotion and commitment to serve the people. Necessary additional budget to the police department would be provided to enhance its output, he added. The prime minister said more vehicles would also be provided to the police for improving its performance.

Imran said that crimes existed in all over the world but effective measures to control them was a real challenge and a responsibility of the state. He said overseas Pakistanis were an asset of the country and protection of their rights was among priorities of the government.

The prime minister said that genuine grievances of overseas Pakistanis would be resolved and their trust would be restored in the government.

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