PESHAWAR, Nov 11: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Health Shaukat Yousafzai on Monday said a new health policy would be announced in the next week in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa through which free medical facilities and emergency services would be provided at periphery healthcare centre at all districts of the province.
He also announced free medical treatment at government hospitals in the province for journalists suffering from hepatitis, cancer, heart problems and other chronic diseases.
The minister was speaking during a Peshawar Press Club function organised for distribution of life insurance polices and awards to journalists.
PPC President Nasir Hussain, Khyber Union of Journalists President Nisar Mehmood and PPC General Secretary Yousuf Ali also spoke on the occasion.
Mr Yousufzai said the government was taking proactive steps for provision for better healthcare facilities to everyone in the province.
“For this purpose, a strong new health policy will be introduced from next week under which free emergency services will be provided at periphery health facilities in the entire province. The people will see a change after the introduction of the policy. Free health services will be extended to underprivileged districts of the province like Kohistan, Chitral and DI Khan,” he said.
He also announced free medical treatment for journalists suffering from chronic diseases like hepatitis, cancer and heart problems, etc.
The health minister said the government was facing host of challenges in the health sector, but it was fully tackling with all those issues, by imposition of better policies and practical steps.
He said more than 500 new doctors, 675 nurses and 300 to 400 medical technicians had been inducted at public sector health hospitals and tertiary healthcare units in the province.
“The process of recruitments of medical and technical staffs will complete within a week,” he said.
Mr Yousafzai said the directives were being issued to commissioners of all districts, to establish a monitoring cell for the government’s health facilities.
He said free medicines would be provided at basic health units, rural health centre, and districts headquarters level hospitals.
About the blocking of Nato supplies route and the US drone strikes, the minister said PTI had great expectations from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that he would take up the issue of drone attacks with the Obama administration during the recent visit to US but the visit was meant to gain aid and therefore, he kept silence about the drone attacks.
“We will stop Nato supplies in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa after November 20, while PTI workers will not allow transportation of logistics to US troops via Karachi and other routes to Afghanistan,” he said.
Mr Yousafzai said the provincial government was not concerned about the possibility of the imposition of the governor’s rule in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and would stop the Nato supplies at all cost.
He said PTI had always opposed the US drone attacks and military operations and staged a sit-in against them.
The minister said the PML-N led government should take proactive steps for restoration of peace and end to US drone attacks in line with a pre-election commitment with people.
He said the government had established an accountability cell to take action against ministers and MPAs in case they were found guilty of corruption.
The minister appreciated the role of journalists’ bodies for extending health insurance scheme for the members of the community. He stressed upon the journalists to do their professional duty with responsibility and truthfulness.