Govt committed to provide univeral health coverage to people: PM

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APP20-13 ISLAMABAD: April 13 - Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi addressing a gathering at World Health Day event in PM Office. APP

ISLAMABAD, Apr 13 (APP):Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Friday said the government was committed to providing universal health coverage to people and would allocate necessary resources for ongoing healthcare programmes for elimination of polio, tuberculosis and for addressing issue of malnutrition and stunting.
Addressing a conference in connection with World Health Day organized by Ministry of Health and World Health Organization (WHO), he said efforts of the government were aimed at ensuring
quality and affordable healthcare.
He said: “I want to assure people of Pakistan and development partners that we are committed to the goal of health for all.”
Education, healthcare and social development were the top priorities of the government despite limited available resources, he added.
Shahid Khaqan said the government will continue to take steps to improve coordination and cohesion between the federal and provincial governments for better implementation of healthcare
programmes.
In its tenure, he said the federal government had given a vision, direction and improved capacity of departments, working under the health ministry.
The government’s efforts considerably reduced the cases of polio and it was in its last stages of eradication while immunization coverage for diseases was also expanded, he added.
He said the Prime Minister’s Health Insurance Programme was successfully undertaken, giving health facilities to the poorest of the poor. “The performance of this programme is fairly satisfactory on the ground.”
The PM lauded the work done by the federal ministry for regulation of the health sector despite resistance from the vested interests and for looking after the needs of the public especially poor.
“We took on the vested interests and made available quality human resources in the health departments.”
He mentioned the reforms carried out in Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) and
Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) and establishing of a dashboard for reliable data.
Referring to the contribution of international donors, he said Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
were the leading supporter of Pakistan’s immunization programme.
He said more emphasis should be put on preventive healthcare to take away burden from
hospitals.
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said the issue of malnutrition and stunting in children had reached
alarming level. “We can reduce the intensity of the problem of malnutrition and stunting by making
more financial allocations.”
He expressed his government’s resolve to take necessary steps to tackle malnutrition and
create awareness on matters relating to family planning. “We need to create greater visibility and
make people more aware about ways to deal with diseases. We need to raise the quality of our
medical education with effective regulation and standards.”