Prime Minister Imran Khan here Friday launched gigantic ‘Sehat Insaf Cards (SIC)’ program to provide free treatment facilities to patients of merged tribal districts of erstwhile FATA in top paneled government and private hospitals of the country.The prime minister distributed cards among poor tribesmen, including widows, orphans, persons with disabilities and senior citizens, during a special ceremony here at the Governor House.Federal secretary for health services briefed the prime minister about salient features of the Sehat Insaf Card and said that it was a three-year project which will cost about Rs 55 billion to the national exchequer.Keeping in view its success in KP, the government has decided to extend the program to tribal districts where family of each beneficiary will avail free treatment up to Rs 7,20,000 annually in any top paneled government and private hospital of the country. More than one million families in tribal districts will be facilitated from this mega program.The secretary said the program is for the poor people of all seven tribal districts and free treatment process will start from Khyber and Bajaur from Saturday (today) on pilot basis. Except transplant cases, Bajaur, Mohmand, Khyber, North Waziristan, South Waziristan, Kurram and Orakzai districts patients will now avail free treatment soon after being diagnosed with fatal ailments such as cancer, kidney, heart, hepatitis, medical or surgical operations and their free treatment will continue till their complete recovery. At the time of discharge of a patient, free medicines would be provided to each beneficiary for five days besides Rs 1,000 for transportation. An amount of Rs 10,000 will be provided for burial purposes in case of death of the patient.Free treatment process to start from Khyber and Bajaur from today on pilot basisThe program covers patients of all age groups, starting from birth of a child to a senior citizen and both male and female are eligible to use this facility for indoor treatment at any paneled hospital.A household beneficiary consists of at least eight people including family head, his spouse and up to five children and one elderly dependent person in case number of children is less than five. The beneficiaries can continue their indoor treatment in hospitals without facing financial constraints of payment of doctors and laboratory fees, medicines and surgical operations till their full recovery.The program is being implemented with the help of State Life and all beneficiaries were enrolled with the help of Benazir Income Support Program’s survey list. The secretary said cards are distributed among deserving families strictly on merit and efforts will be made that no deserving family stands deprived of the facility.Governor Khyber Pakthunkhwa Shah Farman, Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, Federal Minister for Health Services Aamir Mehmood Kiayani, Advisor to Prime Minister on Establishment Arbab Shahzad, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Media Affairs Iftikhar Durrani and Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Political Affairs Naeemul Haq besides provincial ministers, advisors and lawmakers from tribal districts attended the event.Published in Daily Times, February 16th 2019.