On Sunday, Dr. Javed Akram and Amir Mir, the interim ministers for Punjab, declared that while health card-based therapy will continue, not everyone would be eligible to use it.
During the press conference, Punjab ministers announced a significant change in the eligibility criteria for free treatment on the health card. According to the new policy, individuals who travel abroad or have a mobile phone bill amounting to Rs8,000 or more will no longer be eligible for free healthcare services covered under the health card scheme.
Health card-based treatment to continue in Punjab but with selective eligibility.— Healthwire News (@HealthwireNews) July 3, 2023
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This decision aims to target individuals who can afford such expenses and prioritize limited resources for those who truly require assistance. By implementing this change, the government seeks to ensure that healthcare benefits reach those who are most in need.
“If someone’s mobile [phone] bill is Rs8,000 and electricity bill is Rs100,000, then the individual is not poor. We will acquire deserving persons’ data from the Social Welfare Department now. The caretaker government has no political motive behind the health cards,” they added.
Dr. Javed Akram Cretaker Health Minister said that “Health cards, which were established by the previous Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) administration, were grossly mishandled.”
“If someone wants to get medical treatment from a private hospital, then the individual should bear 30 percent of expenses and the remaining 70pc will be borne by the government”, said the minister.
An Rs. 1.5 billion funds had been set up to solve the problem, and only government institutions would offer free cardiac care. The administration had also decided to limit the use of the Pakistani flag on health cards, the minister added.
Amir Mir, the minister of information, made it clear that the health card scheme would continue, although with some restrictions. He asserted that “individuals had previously abused the health card and made money off of it”. The Sehat Card Scheme, he claimed, had only been made available to worthy people during the Nawaz Sharif administration in 2015.