ISLAMABAD-Special Assistant on National Health Services, Dr. Zafar Mirza has said the primary health care system is being strengthened to ensure universal health coverage.

He was addressing the annual Public Health Conference in Islamabad on Tuesday.

The special assistant said the government is giving priority to bring improvements in the health sector. The process is continuing to enhance the health budget.

The amount to be collected in the realm of federal excise duty on beverages and the cigarette will be spent on the health.

He said the poor and backward segments of the society are being provided with ‘Sehat Insaaf’ Cards.

The special assistant said the federal government is also bringing a nutrition programme valuing Rs500 billion with the cooperation of provinces.

Mirza said that the government had planned to upgrade primary health care system to ensure provision of best medical services to everyone.

He said that 26 rural health centres (RHCs) of the federal capital were being upgraded while the government was also focusing on making improvement in basic health units (BHUs).

He said that there was plan to increase services at major hospitals of the federal capital.

He added the main focus of the government was to improve healthcare delivery system.

He stated that Pakistan was the first country in the world to use localised evidence on Disease Control Priorities 3 and Burden of Disease to develop an essential package of health services/UHC benefit package of Pakistan.

He said achievement of this milestone and implementation of the package in future would help to improve health outcomes and making speedy progress towards UHC.