PESHAWAR:The Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for the first time in province’s history provided a health insurance of up to Rs one million per year to around 40 million people through Sehat Insaf Card, the Provincial Finance Minister, Taimur Saleem Jhagra said in his budget 2021-22 speech on Friday.

The provincial government has allocated a hefty amount of Rs 142 billion for health sector in fiscal year 2021-22 to provide best possible health cover to its people. The amount he said would also help provide health insurance of up to Rs one million per annum to every KP family. The Minister informed 165,642 people have so far benefited from Sehat Plus Card program in the province.

This step of the KP government, he said could be called a historic move towards provision of free of charge medical cover to its people having no precedence in the past. The KP government wanted to provide the best possible healthcare facilities to people from every sphere of the society. He said the KP government was the first government of the country to provide such a facility that even did not exist in developed countries like America.

Under the program, he said around 7.2 million families of the province were provided free of charge health insurance in 35 districts of the province at 244 private and public sector hospitals.

Talking about the achievements gained during fiscal year 2020-21, the Minister said with a hefty amount of Rs 16 billion, establishment of Peshawar Institute of Cardiology, new OPD blocks at KTH, Mother and Child Healthcare Hospital Charsadda, new female block at DHQ Mardan, new Allied and Surgical Block at LRH and conversion of Bacha Khan Medical Complex Mardan in to MTI were made possible.

To further enhance the scope of Sehat Plus Card, he said around 300,000 new families would be registered for provision of free of charge healthcare services. For the first time, he said liver transplant and OPD services have been included in Sehat Plus Card program while for the newly merged districts, the minister added that Rs one billion have been added for provision of healthcare facilities.

Taimur Saleem Jhagra further said that Rs 14.9 billion have been allocated for rehabilitation and renovations of all big hospitals of the province including in merged districts. The Finance Minister maintained no doubt the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa presented a era- making budget that depicted the provincial government’s achievements after fighting against the three-year economic challenges and one year of war against coronavirus.

He said what we learned was not to lose courage and passion against any opposition. We made some difficult decisions on the national and provincial level and no doubt today our country’s fiscal year was ending with 4 percent GDP growth while the international economy was faced with crises.

Last year, he said we learnt from the provision of Sehat Plus Card to 40 million people that nothing was impossible, adding we would also succeed in removing obstacles hindering successful execution of some of our big decisions.

He hoped the next two years would be the period of happiness and prosperity adding the province under the dynamic leadership of Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would carry on its journey towards development and prosperity.