ISLAMABAD       -     Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) and Novartis, a pharmaceutical company, on Thursday inked an agreement to provide free cancer treatment to underprivileged people in the Federal, Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Kashmir.

Statement issued by the ministry said that a letter of understanding was signed between the ministry and Novartis for public-private partnership. On this occasion Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr. Zafar Mirza said that cancer treatment is a priority of this government and public-private initiatives are encouraged. This is another step forward in providing relief to the masses in line with the concept of welfare state envisioned by Prime Minister Imran Khan.   

He said all CNIC holders of Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) would benefit from this project. The treatment centres for this project will work at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, Islamabad and Abbas Institute of Medical Sciences, Muzaffarabad, AJK. Treatment will be free for the patients of ICT, AJK and GB suffering from Blood Cancer (Chronic Myeloid leukemia, Myelofibrosis and polycythemia Vera), Stomach Cancer, advance Kidney Cancer, Breast Cancer and Pancreatic Cancer through a public private partnership between Federal Government and Novartis. Dr Zafar Mirza said the Planning Commission has approved PC-1, from 2019-2024, in which Government of Pakistan will pay 10% cost of the project. While speaking on the occasion Dr Zafar Mirza appreciated the support of Novartis.