ISLAMABAD: A huge project worth Rs 9 billion in the name of insurance cards under the Prime Minister’s National Health Programme has reportedly been handed over to private hospitals instead of public hospitals. At the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), which is the largest hospital in the Federal Capital, the poor patients have to run from pillar to post while keeping these cards in hands, but in vain, as no one is there to attend them. The health insurance cards issued by the premier are turning out to be a just piece of paper, as they have no worth at government hospitals. The PIMS administration has neither set up any special counter nor deputed any person to guide these cardholders. The Ministry of National Heath had issued the health insurance cards to some 800,000 families that have a monthly income of less than Rs 2,000. However, only about 12,000 people have succeeded in getting healthcare facilities by utilising these cards. Those poor people do not dare to enter private hospitals due to high cost of healthcare facilities there, and they prefer to go to government hospitals whenever they fall ill. Instead of benefiting from these cards, the holders are facing inconvenience at public hospitals, which means that the government intends to give the mega healthcare project to some private hospitals. When this reporter contacted National Health Ministry Director Dr Faisal, he said that PIMS is not on the list of hospitals where these health cards could be utilised. He said that right private hospitals of Islamabad had been placed on its panel.