PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has decided to provide free health facilities to tribal people via Computerized National Identity Cards (CNICs) in hospitals throughout the country until they are issued Sehat Insaf Cards.

The step was taken during a meeting presided by KP Chief Minister Mehmood Khan. All the families in tribal districts have to be provided Sehat Insaf Health Cards, however, most of the families haven’t yet received their cards. Thus, to facilitate them in getting free health, it was decided that they can use their CNICs to get the health treatment at the hospitals empanelled under the Sehat Insaf Program.

According to data of KP government so far 300,000 Sehat Insaf Cards to the people of tribal districts while further 700,000 cards are yet to be provided. The government has notified two private and two public sector hospitals in Bajaur and two in Khyber where a total of 6,000 patients have received free services.

A statement said that the chief minister has directed the officials to expedite the process of providing SICs to the residents of the entire province as well as merged areas. The CM was briefed regarding the health services and future plans and was informed that cards would be provided to people in phases. On the occasion, he asked the authorities concerned to impart training to the staff and scale up awareness so that the people start taking benefit from the programme.

The Chief Minister said that the Sehat Insaf Card is unique because under it peoples are properly examined, diagnosed and treated free of cost regardless of their financial status.

The programme was started by the previous PTI government in the province and it was later extended to other parts of the country when the party assumed power at the centre. There are 1.1 million families in the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas who all can get treatment services in all 79 hospitals in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.