Islamabad - The Federal Minister for National Health services and Regulations Saira Afzal Tarar on Tuesday said that Prime Minister’s National Health Program (PMNHP) will bring a health revolution by targeting around 100 million people across the country.

This minister said this on the second day of the regional committee meeting of the Eastern Mediterranean region.

The minister said that government recognises access to quality healthcare services the inherent right of every Pakistani and has laid down health as a priority agenda in the country.

It is only through the provision of quality and affordable health services that the nation can achieve its full potential and gains on the economic and social fronts, said the minister.

The minister said, “Government of Pakistan has envisioned that unless we reach out to the poor with a comprehensive package of curative health services that is available in both public and private sector free of charge, we will not be able to achieve the goal of providing Universal Health Coverage to this highly vulnerable segment of the society.”

Prime Minister’s National Health Program is a social health protection initiative designed to provide a path to reach Universal Health Coverage in Pakistan.

“In its first phase, we are providing free of cost health insurance to the families living below the poverty line to access quality indoor healthcare services from healthcare facilities, said the minister.

She further said that after completion, PMNHP will eventually be focusing on around 100 million people across the country.  This will indeed be the real revolution when people get the treatment for different ailments free of cost from the best public or private health facility, said minister.

She stated that the program, once fully implemented, will be a major step in poverty alleviation through the reduction of financial barriers to quality healthcare services. This program will also bring equity in health services as the poor will now get the same quality of services as the affluent class both in Public and Private sector health facilities.

The minister said, “We are piloting multiple innovation in the program through which its beneficiaries will be provided with services for high burden diseases, which were not present in the current phase.  Through these pilot programs we are not only developing linkages with already existing primary health care services but also bringing in Out-Patient Services in the program.”

She said currently the PMNHP is being in the process of implementation in 40 districts. Around 26 districts have already been enrolled and a process of beneficiary enrolment has been started in remaining districts.

We are providing health care services to more than 1.6 million families and are hoping to reach a target of 3 million families during current financial year.