Ehsaas Tahafuz Programme Federal cabinet approves fund-based health financing system

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Zubair Qureshi

Federal Cabinet has approved the Ehsaas Catastrophic Health Expenditure Policy and Ehsaas Tahafuz which is a fund-based health financing system. The cabinet gave this approval through circulation.

Ehsaas Tahafuz is the country’s first shock-oriented precision safety net and is executed after the extensive two-year-long. Through this policy, Ehsaas Tahafuz will complement the insurance-based Sehat Sahulat programme to ensure the universal health coverage and protect people from Catastrophic Health Expenditure.

Ehsaas Tahafuz is primarily premised on coverage principles to complement government’s existing Sehat Sahulat programme and plug in any gaps.

The programme has been built keeping in mind five key principles including provision of universal access; catering to only catastrophic expenditures; complementing existing insurance programs; coverage of all essential treatments; and promotion of accountability and improvement.

“Given the current landscape and the importance of protecting the vulnerable, there was a need for a programme to act as a complementary initiative to the health insurance programme, which addresses the gaps to ensure no one falls into poverty due to healthcare expenses.

Ehsaas Tahafuz has been introduced to provide coverage specifically against catastrophic health expenditures to vulnerable communities, said Dr. Sania Nishtar while chairing the review meeting of Ehsaas Tahafuz at Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division.

The programme works in partnership with public hospitals that identify patients requiring financial support. Patients identified are then assessed by Tahafuz against an eligibility criterion. For eligible patients, hospitals are directly reimbursed for pre-defined treatment costs. Ehsaas Tahafuz system is paperless, mobile-phone centered and technology-based.

Its automated workflows, supply-chain management, tracking and time-shaping, and pre-configured rules for eligibility ascertainment, help overcome abuse and mis-targeting of social protection funds.

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