National Health Program to be expanded to entire country

National Health Program to be expanded to entire country

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi directed the Ministry of National Health Services Friday to devise a comprehensive plan to expand outreach of PM’s National Health program across the country aimed at providing relief to poor segments of the society.

The directions were passed by the Prime Minister while chairing a meeting on issues related to Ministry of National
Health Services here at the Prime Minister Office.

The Prime Minister directed that the regulatory mechanism regarding registration of drugs and pricing policy be further simplified to facilitate drug manufacturers and create a win-win situation for the consumers, drugs producers and importers.

Taking note of existing backlog in the registration and price fixation of various drugs, the Prime Minister directed the Ministry to present a roadmap within 24 hours with specified timeline for clearing the backlog.

He called for placing before the Cabinet comprehensive proposals and necessary legislation, if required, for addressing the issues and improving the drugs regulatory regime in the country.

Mrs. Saira Afzal Tarar, Minister for National Health Services and senior officials of the Ministry attended the meeting.

Briefing the Prime Minister, the Minister for National Health Services said the Government has undertaken major reforms especially in last over two years in diverse areas.

She said these include introduction of a comprehensive Drug Pricing Policy, launching of Prime Minister’s National Health Program, increase in coverage of children vaccinated under Expanded Program on Immunization, significant reduction of polio cases in the country.

She also mentioned the launch of Prime Minister’s Program for the treatment of fatal diseases, successful negotiation under National Immunization Support Program for financial sustainability of immunization services of women and children.

The Health Minister said Prime Minister’s National Health Program which was started in 26 districts in the first phase would be covering over three million families and was the largest public health initiative in the country.

The Prime Minister appreciated the progress being made under the National Health Program and directed the Ministry to
work closely with the provincial governments in order to expand its outreach.

Discussing the issues concerning DRAP, the Prime Minister observed that regulatory policies and framework should aim at facilitating international as well as local drugs manufacturers and aim at promoting healthy competition among the producers.

He said that the government was endeavoring to put in place a congenial environment for the businesses to flourish
and markets to grow further. He observed that the regulators’ job was to protect the consumers and facilitate business
community to the maximum possible extent. – AFP