Lahore, 2nd December: Prime Minister Imran Khan has promised universal health coverage for the people of Gilgit-Baltistan.
Baaghi TV: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday promised universal health coverage for the people of Gilgit-Baltistan.
“A poor household has to face many difficulties when battling sickness. They sell their possessions, take out loans for medical treatment. So we are introducing health insurance for all of GB,” he said.
He said that the government will introduce the Ehsaas poverty alleviation programme in Gilgit-Baltistan. He also added that Rs1 million will be allocated under the health cards for availing medical treatment at any hospital.
The premier arrived in the region to attend the oath-taking ceremony of the 14-member GB cabinet. The GB governor, Raja Jalal Hussain Maqpoon, administered the oath to the members of the cabinet.
Addressing the ceremony, the premier began his speech by congratulating the new cabinet. He expressed the hope that the new GB government would set a “new tradition” and give a governance system that “sets new standards”.
“No prime minister in Pakistan has seen this region the way I have,” he said, adding that he was acutely aware of the issues being faced by the people of GB as well as the region’s potential.
“What will the new government do? First, we will work on granting the region provisional provincial status so that the prevailing sense of deprivation [among the people] can be eradicated.”
He stated that a committee will be formed to deliberate on this which will work according to timelines.
PM Khan added that the government will also focus on promoting tourism in the region. “From what I have seen during the past three to four years, there has been an influx of tourists during summer. Sometimes they don’t have places to stay.”
He stated that the government would facilitate the people in order to promote tourism by providing cheap loans so that the locals are able to build hotels and guest houses.
“In addition, we met an Austrian company that specialises in skiing. A majority of the money earned from tourism in Switzerland is because of skiing. The same is with Austria.”
According to that company in Austria, the time period for skiing has started to reduce in their country due to climate change, he said. “They say that regions within Pakistan are at a higher altitude which allows for skiing to take place for seven to eight months. So we have begun talking to them about developing skiing areas here.”
Imran Khan also promised to improve the health conditions at the Skardu Hospital so that residents don’t have to travel to Islamabad for medical treatments.
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