PM launches healthcare program for transgender community, promises equal opportunities

'We need to correct the toxic views we hold [about transgenders],' the prime minister.says

Web Desk

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday launched a healthcare programme for the transgender community of Pakistan, stressing on the "need to correct the toxic views we hold" about trans people.

Addressing a ceremony here in the federal capital, the prime minister said: "We will take responsibility and extend this health card and insurance facility to the entire transgender community.

"This government is accepting the transgender community — something that the previous governments had not done unfortunately."

The PM said his government found it difficult to fulfil the promises they had made to the public earlier due to the difficulties the administration inherited from former regimes.

"We have not been able to provide the promised welfare system yet but, despite the difficult economic situations, we have decided to extend the health card facility to the weak and poor sectors of our society," he said.

PM Imran highlighted the importance of the health card scheme, saying it provided a security blanket to the poverty-ridden households and that they would be able to "seek medical treatment at any hospital in their time of need".

The premier said he was well aware of what life-threatening diseases such as cancer could do to poor families, who sometimes had to resort to even selling off their belongings to seek basic healthcare.

"This is why this health card is important because it gives confidence to the poor," he added. 

The PM assailed former governments for "pretending that the transgender communities do not even exist" and treating them like "non-persons".

"We will give you complete protection in the society and abolish the unfortunate practices even," he added.