Universal coverage to revolutionize health sector: PM

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Thursday said the universal health coverage would revolutionize the health sector in the country and protect the poor against economic fallout of contracting a disease.

Speaking after launching the Pakistan Medical Commission Online here, he said despite limited resources, Pakistan was moving towards full universal health coverage.

He said two provinces had taken the decision – the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government had given health coverage to all its citizens while Punjab would be providing complete health coverage to the public by the end of current year.

The prime minister said now the private sector would establish hospitals in small towns and villages. Earlier, the private sector was not going to far off places as the people lacked buying power but now the poor would have health cards to get medical treatment, he noted.

Imran Khan said the poor families did not have protection against disease, and they went below the poverty line and their budget was offset whenever affected by serious illness.

Health cards would provide protection to 50 percent of the country’s population against disease, he added.

He said the private sector would be given incentives to import duty free medical equipment. The government would sell the land of Evacuee Trust Property Board on concessional rates to make it easy for the private sector to construct hospitals, he added.

The prime minister viewed that the role of Pakistan Medical Commission would increase as the number of medical colleges would go up in future.

He appreciated the PMC for launching its online system for registration of medical colleges and students, and for redressal of public complaints.

“I congratulate the PMC because today it took a big step for the health sector as the introduction of technology will introduce transparency and meritocracy.”