MUZAFFARABAD: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Thursday launched the Prime Minister’s National Health Programme aimed at providing free-of-cost healthcare to the poorest citizens of Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
The scheme to be launched initially in two AJK districts, Muzaffarabad and Kotli, will benefit 82,362 and 79,004 families respectively.
The health programme was inaugurated by the prime minister in Islamabad on December 31 last year. The scheme is designed for poor families whose daily income is less than USD 2 (PKR 200) with free of cost access to secondary as well as priority diseases treatment.
The annual cover of the scheme is up to PKR 300,000, extendable to PKR 600,000. In the first phase, the programme will be implemented in 23 districts of Pakistan.
Muzaffarabad is the second district where the programme is launched to provide in hospital services to around 82,000 poor beneficiaries.
Launching the scheme in Muzaffarabad today, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said the government is determined to provide free-of-cost treatment to poor patients.
He said that the programme is part of the manifesto of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and that every effort will be made to provide free health cover to the needy people.
PM Sharif said the scheme will be extended to all parts of the country to benefit the poor as poverty is one of the reasons behind several diseases. He said the government gives priority to the welfare of people with education and health on the top of its list.
The Prime Minister said that the government is developing infrastructure, trying to overcome the energy shortage and working hard to eliminate terrorism from the country.
He appreciated all philanthropists, civil society members and welfare organizations working to provide free-of-cost or concessional treatment to the poor.
The prime minister also announced Rs 100 million as grant and two buses for Mirwaiz Medical College in Muzaffarabad. Sharif also distributed health cards among the needy people at the inauguration ceremony.
Speaking on the occasion, the AJK Minister for Health Sardar Qamar Zaman welcomed launching of the scheme in AJK. AJK President Sardar Yaqub Khan and Prime Minister Chaudhry Abdul Majeed were also present at the inaugural function.