25m health cards to be issued in January: Amir Kiani

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RAWALPINDI: Federal Minister for National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination Amir Mehmood Kiani on Sunday said that the government was going to start a health insurance programme in the country and distribute nearly 25 million Health Insurance Cards (HIC) to the poor and needy by the beginning of next month.

During his visit to Benazir Bhutto Hospital, he inquired after the health of the patients and visited different wards.

Later while talking to the media, he said that the government would announce a new health policy soon. “The healthcare system of Pakistan is beset with numerous problems mainly because of the apathy of the past governments towards the health sector. This is evident from the fact that previous governments had failed to develop a national health policy and miserably failed to meet health-related targets,” the minister said.

He said that all out efforts would be made to bring about a change in the health sector since Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) had started giving due preference to health, adding that the party was working for the formulation of such a policy to deal with health-related challenges.

The minister said that there is a dire need to spend more money on public health. “Basic health centers would also be upgraded to provide relief to the people and efforts would be made to address the issues of young doctors,” he told.

“The government will establish four new hospitals for facilitating the masses,” he said while adding that government hospitals had been facing shortage of staff since a long time so new jobs would be advertised.

He also said that a nursing school, college and university would also be established as there was a shortage of nurses in the country.

Kiani said that major developments in the health sector would become evident in the near future.