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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.

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.

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”.


And Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari stressed the need for “the selections” to learn from Sindh.

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.


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