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pakistan
Saturday Nov 07 2020
By
Web Desk

PM Imran Khan promises universal health insurance for Punjab next year

By
Web Desk

PM Imran Khan addresses the crowd in Hafizabad. Photo: Screengrab

HAFIZABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan, while addressing a public gathering in Hafizabad on Saturday after laying the foundation stone for a university and a hospital, has promised universal health insurance for Punjab next year.

"Today, we have decided to build a 400-bed district hospital and a university in Hafizabad," the premier said. "This is your need and our responsibility."

"More than that, I am happy that the Punjab government has decided to introduce health insurance to 50% of the the province in 2020 and expand it to the entire province next year."

"When illness befalls the house of an ordinary citizen, this health [insurance] card will provide medical insurance of Rs1 million. You can get treatment in public or private hospitals."

"For the first time in the country's history, an ordinary citizen will feel secure about having health insurance in case a family member gets sick."

Imran said even the richest countries in the world do not provide the medical insurance that PTI has introduced in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab.

The premier said this will encourage the construction of private hospitals in under-developed areas, as people will have the means to seek treatment there. 

"If you see now, the rural areas only have government hospitals because people do not have the money. Only big cities have private hospitals."

Shelters and housing

"We built the country's first panah gahs (shelters) where daily wagers are given food and a roof to sleep under," said PM Imran. "It allows them to send more of the money they earn to their family. 

He also talked up the Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme. 

"Until now, you could only make a house when you had money. If you did not have money, you lived on rent. But now, under the Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme, anyone can build their house by taking out a loan on 5% interest."

"Instead of paying a monthly rent, you will pay back the loan while living in your own house," said PM Imran. "Many people promised 'roti, kapra aur makaan' but this [scheme] will be the first time people will have their own homes."

PM Imran Khan waves at the crowd in Hafizabad. Photo: Screengrab

Hitting out at the PDM, the prime minister said that earlier the Opposition parties had a contest among themselves to try to hold on to the seat of power but now they face an entirely new opponent — Imran Khan.

“Till you return [the nation's] looted wealth I will never let you rest,” said PM Imran Khan. He alleged that the Opposition tried to blackmail him in exchange for signing the FATF-related bills and when he did not listen to them then they attacked the judiciary.

PM Imran Khan further alleged that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was speaking the language of India.

“Till you, who are the likes of Mir Jafar and Mir Sadiq, are brought to justice, I will not leave you alone,” PM Imran vowed.

'Real service'

Special Assistant to the Punjab Chief Minister on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said the university, costing Rs4.5 billion, will be built on 118 kanals of land. The government will also spend Rs2 billion on the 400-bed DHQ hospital. 

Criticising previous governments for ignoring "an important city like Hafizabad", Awan said Punjab CM Usman Buzdar believed in "real service" and not "false claims". 

She added that the districts were moving towards development under the PTI government. "This is real change," she asserted.