ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr. Zafar Mirza on Sunday said that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led government was committed for provision of best healthcare facilities to patients, Radio Pakistan reported.
In an interview, on the eve of World Hepatitis Day, Dr Zafar said that “We have done a comprehensive planning to totally transform the healthcare system in the areas falling under the jurisdiction of the federal government.”
He said that the vision of present government was totally different from the previous regimes as it believed in establishing a truly welfare state where people have equal access to opportunities and services including the health.
The special assistant said that the federal health spending would see an increase of three times during the current fiscal year.
He said approval had been given in the budget that the revenue collected from the excise duty imposed on tobacco and beverages will be spent on the health sector.
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Dr Zafar said enhanced taxation on cigarettes will also discourage use of smoking and added that this experience had proved to be very successful in many other countries.
Giving an overview of the country’s overall health infrastructure, Dr Zafar Mirza regretted that the primary healthcare system was totally neglected over the last seventy years.
He said, “Increase in infant and maternal mortality rate as well as the spread of other diseases including hepatitis, HIV/AIDs and tuberculosis is the consequence of the negligence meted out to the primary healthcare and public health in the past.” Dr Zafar said health services will also be provided in the schools.
Responding to a question, he said a robust anti polio campaign will be started by the end of this year and the results of this campaign will be visible next year. He was confident that the country will be made polio free in the next two to three years.