PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan on Thursday paid a visit to Peshawar Institute of Cardiology (PIC) at Hayatabad where he inaugurated three newly established Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories completed at a cumulative cost of Rs 515 million. With the establishment of these labs, total number of Cath labs in PIC has increased to six which will resultantly double the daily capacity of the procedures of Angiography and Angioplasty in the institute. The chief minister also inaugurated Centralized Sterilization Services Department (CSSD) which has been established at a cost of Rs 77 million. Addressing a ceremony, the chief minister said that health and education had been top most priority of PTI government in the province since its inception, adding that the provincial government has taken a series of result-oriented steps to improve services delivery in these sectors. He said that Sehat Card Plus Scheme was the most important initiatives of the provincial government which has now been extended to 100 percent population of the province. He said that keeping in view the importance of Sehat Card Scheme, legislation was also in progress to provide legal cover to the scheme to run it on permanent basis. The chief minister while lauding the performance of PIC has said that the PIC has made remarkable achievements in a very short span of time adding that PIC was a state of the art healthcare institute of the province which was extending international standard treatment facilities to cardiac patients of the province. It was a matter of pride for all of us that the PIC has become the first government hospital of Pakistan which has been certified by the International Standard Organization within the one and half years of its establishment, Mahmood Khan remarked. He lauded the overall performance of PIC and said that the entire management of PIC deserved appreciation for their tireless efforts to make PIC a top level healthcare institute of not only the province but the country as well. Provincial Cabinet Members Taimur Salim Jhagra, Ishtiaq Urmar and Barrister Muhammad Ali Saif were also present on the occasion. Addressing the ceremony, Provincial Minister for Health Taimur Salim Jhagra highlighted the performance of health department with special focus on reforms initiatives taken so far by their provincial government. Briefing about the performance of PIC, Chief Executive Officer Professor Dr. Shahkar told the participants that over 43000 cardiac patients were checked up whereas over 8000 procedures of angiography and angioplasty were made during the last 16 months. Similarly, over 1500 cardiac operations including 307 children have been carried out during the short span of 16 months. He told that PIC was only government hospital which has got approval of post graduate courses within the first five months of its inception. Dr. Shahkar further told that 95 percent patients have been treated free of cost through Sehat Card Plus Scheme. The chief minister on this occasion announced the fund of Rs 550 million for Peshawar Institute of Cardiology.