Govt announces Sehat Insaf Card scheme for Islamabad, GB residents

ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan on Wednesday announced that the government has decided to launch health cards for the residents of Islamabad and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB).

While addressing a press conference after a meeting of the National Steering Committee, Dr Faisal Sultan said, “The programme is currently underway in 96 districts of Pakistan. At present, more than 16 million families are benefiting from the health card,” he added.

He said that more than 258,000 families in Islamabad will be able to benefit from the government’s Sehat Insaf Card scheme launched under PTI’s Sehat Sahulat Programme. In terms of healthcare services, the government plans to turn Islamabad into a model city, the SAPM said.

“Likewise, over 328, 00 households in Gilgit Baltistan will be able to get free medical treatment through the heath card facility,” Dr Sultan said.

He went on to say that the PTI-led government is working on bringing some major reforms to the health sector, adding that the scope of the Sehat Insaf Card scheme is being extended to the entire country.

Speaking about the future course of action, Dr Sultan said that the cards will be issued to all permanent residents of seven districts of Punjab — Dera Ghazi Khan, Rajanpur, Layyah, Sahiwal, Pakpattan, Okara, and Muzaffargarh — within the next two months. Meanwhile, the remaining districts will get the cards by December 2021.

Under the Sehat Sahulat Programme, the government has decided to provide health cards to 80 million poor people — or 10.5 million households — in the country so that they could receive free medical treatment in public and private hospitals. 

Previously, the government had announced that over the next two years, around 15 million people will receive the cards.

Prime Minister Imran Khan announced offering universal health coverage to everyone in Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa through the Sehat Insaf card within a year in the first phases.

He said the government wanted to stand behind every segment of society to offer universal health coverage and simultaneously expand healthcare facilities in Punjab and KP. He said the availability of Sehat Insaf card to everyone would drive the private sector to set up hospitals.