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Yasmin Rashid Grilled By Journalists, Blames Federal Setup For Increase In Medicine Prices

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Punjab Health Minister Yasmin Rashid was grilled by journalists on Sunday who questioned her about increase in prices of medicine.

The minister said that only prices of medicines used during emergencies and operations were increased, but rates of basic medicines remained the same.

To this, a journalist revealed that price per pack of a basic medicine had increased from Rs400 to Rs900. He quizzed Yasmin as to why that was the case.

An agitated Rashid blasted the journalist over his ‘inappropriate and harsh’ tone and asked him to ‘behave’. Other journalists present on occasion disagreed with the minister and urged her to answer the journalist’s question.

“We are making sure that those who cannot afford medicine are given Sehat cards. The prices have been increased by the federal government and we are continuously urging them to review the increase and then upon reduce the prices,” Yasmin said.

In a separate interview, Yasmin Rashid said that provision of free drugs to all patients was not possible and said that the facility would be provided to the persons receiving treatment at emergency centres and hospitals.

She said that even if the provincial government spends its entire budget on providing free medicine, it still cannot provide free medication to everyone in the province.

Inflation hit 9.41 percent on Monday, a five-year high. Last week on Friday, petrol prices were increased by Rs6 per litre amid severe backlash for the ruling PTI. The prices of light diesel and kerosene oil increased by Rs3 per litre each, while high-speed diesel soared to Rs117.43.

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