PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government on Tuesday launched Universal Health Insurance Card in Hazara division under which the citizens will get free of cost health facilities.

Speaker KP Assembly Mushtaq Ghani inaugurated the scheme in Abbottabad. He was flanked by KP Health and Finance Minister Taimur Saleem Jhagra, Adviser on Information Kamran Bangash, MPAs Arshad Ayub, Nazir Abbasi, Babar Salim Swati, provincial secretary health Imtiaz Hussain, Commissioner Hazara Division Riaz Khan Mehsud and local elders.

Speaking on the occasion, Mushtaq Ghani said provision of Universal Health Insurance Card was a highly commendable step of the KP government for the welfare of poor citizens. He said health insurance card would be provided to each and every poor person of the province.

The KP Assembly speaker said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government ended discrimination in the system and now a poor person could also get treatment facility free of cost while utilising health insurance card.

Mr Ghani said that under Universal Health Insurance project, the people of Hazara division would get the card within 90 days, while Sehat Insaf Card is also being provided to 6.5 million people of eight districts of Hazara division. With the help of health card, each family would be entitled for treatment up to Rs1 million at all designated hospitals in KP.

He said the KP government has allocated Rs18 billion for the project which would be increased next year. He said every person who has a permanent address on his/her computerised national identity card (CNIC) of KP would be eligible to utilise this card.

Taimur Saleem Jhagra said that PTI wants a controversy free project and wasn’t keen to get publicity for its welfare projects. He said that during the last 90 days, the KP government has provided health insurance to 40 million people of the province. He said the opposition members also appreciated the health card system.

He said that besides provision of financial benefits to the masses to tackle health issues through the health card, the government would also gather data of diseases of every person in the KP. He said pharmaceutical and insurance industries would also flourish through the health card scheme.