Health insurance program to cover all districts by 2020: Dr Zafar


ISLAMABAD, May 21 (APP):Minister of State for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Dr Zafar Mirza Tuesday said that the government had initiated health insurance in 66 districts and the program was fast evolving to cover all the districts in the country by 2020.

Addressing the 72nd World Health Assembly in Geneva, the minister said that the government was paying and would pay a substantial premium for secondary in-patient treatment of the poor family members for a prescribed list of diseases and procedures.

He said that a very important feature of that program was strategic purchasing of health services from the private health sector which was the best way to engage the private sector without compromising the need to effectively regulate it, said a message received here from Geneva.

The government’s mission was to promote health, keep Pakistan and the world safe and serve the vulnerable communities.

He said that within the framework of Universal Health Coverage (UHC), the priorities of the government were making Pakistan Polio free as soon as possible and effectively addressing the high burden of some communicable diseases besides life course approach with intense focus on mother and child-care, nutrition and reproductive health.

He added other priorities included prevention and control of non-communicable diseases with renewed emphasis on effective tobacco control and other risk factors and deepening resilience to deal with all kinds of health emergencies

Dr Zafar said “Having spent 15 years in WHO and now taking over as a Minister of Health three weeks ago, I have been actively reviewing the health situation in my country and setting my priorities.”
He added Like Kenya, Pakistan was also in the process of developing a model health care system in Islamabad Capital Territory for Universal Health Coverage for which a memorandum of understanding had been signed with the WHO.

He assured that people’s rights to health would be realized by establishing public sector investment in health as a priority in macro-economic policy, by fully respecting federal and provincial mandates in health, by strengthening essential public health functions in the country and by active involvement of society at large.

He added results will be also achieved by ensuring multi sectoral collaboration to effectively dealing with risks and determinants of health and by investing in family practice based primary health care as a foundation of Universal Health Coverage with enhanced domestic resource mobilization and with the continued cooperation of development partners.

He also assured his commitment towards improving the health conditions of people and making a world a safer place for everybody.

He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan also stood here in 2007 to receive a gold medal for his phenomenal leadership in building a first state-of-the-art cancer hospital in Lahore.