Tuesday May 17, 2022

Sehat Insaf Card: Govt siphons off health budget to benefit insurance companies, says Bilawal

By Our Correspondent
January 29, 2022

GAMBAT: The Chairman of Pakistan People's Party, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari described the Sehat Insaf card of the incumbent government as a theft of the health budget that offers public money to private insurance companies. He was inaugurating the bone marrow transplant institute at the Gambat Institute of Medical Sciences,

Bilawal said the PPP had offered Waseela-e-Sehat Card to help the poverty-stricken. Mian Sahab changed the name to PM Health Card and now the PTI calls it Sehat Insaf Card. “We had offered it to the poor but that of the PTI offers a subsidy of Rs 5-6 lakh to private hospitals,” Bilawal deplored. Their current health card is a theft of the health budget as this money will be given to private insurance companies. “If you utilize your finances properly, you will also be able to make world-class hospitals like Gambat,” he said. "The budget of three institutes alone set up by the Sindh government including Gambat Institute of Medical Sciences, SIUT, and NICVD, is more than the budget covered by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Health Card." The selected government can run the healthcare sector better if some of this money is given to the poor, and the rest is utilized in the budget of government hospitals.

Earlier, Bilawal inaugurated the bone marrow transplant institute at the Gambat Institute of Medical Sciences, and reiterated his vision of providing free healthcare to all parts of Pakistan. He announced that the bone marrow transplant treatment at Gambat Institute of Medical Sciences (GIMS) was now 100pc free. He said the citizens suffering from thalassemia can be greatly helped and cured by the bone marrow transplant. Bilawal also announced launching a rapid response emergency facility at the GIMS to treat serious injuries from the rising number of car accidents. He said more such centers would be opened in other cities to provide the best possible treatment to victims of fire and accidents. “Gambat from today is the medical capital of Pakistan,” the PPP chairman said. "I challenge all the provincial governments of the country to build a hospital-like Gambat Institute of Medical Sciences, where free treatment for liver, kidney, bone marrow, and cancer is provided," the PPP chairman said.

He claimed they wanted to offer best treatment facilities free of cost at the peoples’ doorsteps. "If we can provide free cancer, liver, and kidney transplant to Sindh, we can take this initiative to the rest of Pakistan too." “The vision of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto was to improve the healthcare system of the nation and save the lives of elders. This is our vision of Pakistan,” Bilawal said. “We want healthcare to be completely free, so no one is left untreated due to lack of finances. To reach our goal, we have made large investments, in tertiary care hospitals.”

Bilawal claimed Sindh has broken the national record by providing 550 free liver transplants to patients from across the country. Amongst these, 52pc people were from Sindh, 29pc were from Punjab, 15pc from Balochistan, and 3pc were from KPK. Bilawal said Punjab also has a liver and kidney institute that performs transplants, but the number of patients from Punjab treated in Gambat are far more than in the home province.