PTI Govt: From The Slogans Of ‘Focus On Health’ To Ending Free Diagnostic Services And Increase In Fees
Amid alarming inflation, reduced purchasing power and increase in unemployment, the Punjab government has ended free diagnosis at the state-run health facilities of the province, with a claim that it would “improve standards at hospital laboratories”.
There has been a strong reaction to the move, especially when it coincided with the completion of the PTI government’s first year.
حکومت کی پہلی سالگرہ پر خان صاحب نے اہلیان پنجاب کو ایسا تحفہ دیا ہےکہ اب انشاءاللہ پنجاب میں کوئی غریب ہسپتال نہیں جائےگا۔عمران خان نے غریب سےپہلے روٹی چھینی اب اس سےمفت علاج معالجے کی سہولت بھی چھین لی۔پنجاب کی غریب عوام پرایک اور ظلم۔#کوئی_پوچھے_تو_کہنا_خان_آیا_تھا pic.twitter.com/sBKAx3wIay
— Fakhar Durrani (@FrehmanD) August 18, 2019
Besides imposing a heavy fee on some 50 services and diagnostic facilities earlier being offered free-of-cost, the government has also revised the existing rates of many services and test facilities, introducing a hefty fee increase.
Sadly, it is the PTI which has been critical of building motorways and Metro, insisting that health and education should be the focus, but it seems there is no correlation between its statements and policies.
It is important to note that the PTI government has already stopped provision of free medicines to the deserving cardiac and diabetes patients, not to mention the alarming increase in medicines’ prices.
It is obviously a very disturbing development for the poor as the PML-N government had not started the process of improving the health infrastructures across the province but also introduced free-of-cost services for patients.
In his reaction, former Punjab chief minister Shehbaz Sharif said where the national exchequer was being spent when the poor were not getting anything.
کیا نیازی حکومت میں عوام کے خون پسینے کی کمائی کا پیسہ صرف اشرافیہ اور حکمرانوں کی عیاشی کے لیے ہے ؟؟ اس غریب دشمن اور سیلفی زدہ حکومت نے پہلے طلباء طالبات سے تعلیمی وظائف چھینے اور اب غریب مریضوں کا سرکاری ہسپتال میں بھی علاج نا ممکن بنا دیا ہے۔ آخر قومی خزانہ جا کہاں رہا ہے ؟؟ pic.twitter.com/zj6iR1wFfk
— Shehbaz Sharif (@CMShehbaz) August 18, 2019
People are now describing the decision as a “death sentence” for many poor patients and “typical IMF shock treatment — shocking the poorest of the poor”.
This is literally a death sentence for many poor patients, especially at a time when the cost of other basic necessities has skyrocketed. Typical IMF shock treatment–shocking the poorest of the poor. https://t.co/euJkLtdBJV
— Nida Kirmani (@nidkirm) August 18, 2019
And Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari stressed the need for “the selections” to learn from Sindh.
Will say it again, selections need to learn from Sindh Gov. Not only diagnosis but entire treatment, hospitals & care absolutely free equipped with the latest technology. #PPP #Health https://t.co/zFuHWBoi1n
— Bakhtawar B-Zardari (@BakhtawarBZ) August 18, 2019
Meanwhile, there are people who are questioning Prime Minister Imran Khan’s concept of a welfare Islamic state and the repeated claims of replicating the state of Madina.
So this is what IK means by ‘Islamic Welfare State’ of ‘Riast-e-Madina? ‘No free diagnosis for indoor patients at Punjab hospitals’. https://t.co/reI4Bk2bYW
— Khadim Hussain (@Khadimhussain4) August 18, 2019