Sehat Sahulat: KP becomes ‘first province’ to provide universal health coverage

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Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday praised the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government for implementing free health coverage to all residents of the province under the Sehat Sahulat Programme.

In a tweet on Monday morning, the PM said that approximately 40 million people will receive free healthcare of up to Rs 1 million every year in more than 400 hospitals — both government and private, adding that KP was the first province in the country to provide universal health coverage for its residents, under the Sehat Sahulat Programme.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan had termed the step as a “big move towards achieving the dream of a welfare state on the pattern of Riasat-i-Madina as envisioned by Imran Khan”.

“With tomorrow’s launch of Sehat Card in Southern Districts, we’ll become the first province to have universal coverage of health insurance for 100% population. It’s a big step towards achieving the dream of the welfare state on the pattern of Riasat-e-Madina as envisioned by Imran Khan,” Mahmood had tweeted on Sunday night.

What is Sehat Sahulat Programme?

The PTI government has started this programme, and in KP every family can get free medical services worth up to Rs1 million per year. The card is not issued to an individual but to a family; it could be a couple and their children, or a joint family. The government has an agreement with the State Life Insurance Corporation of Pakistan, which borrows Rs2,850 per person per year from it to provide this service.

Who is eligible for the programme?

Anyone with a KP domicile is eligible. People who have KP domiciles or CNICs but live outside the province can use the facility in designated cities. Hospitals in cities outside KP are included on the list.

Definition of a family under the programme:

A family is defined as a husband and a wife and their children. They can get treatment using the husband or wife’s card for their family. Dr Riaz said that couples registered with Nadra will get their separate insurance. Those who are not, can use their parent’s cards but that would deprive them of their separate Rs1 million insurance.

Eighteen-year-olds who have CNICs but are unmarried can use the facility using their parents cards. After they get married, they can file a request with NADRA to have their card number changed.

How can the children be registered?

Children can use the facility with their parents’ cards. Parents need to have Nadra issue Form B for them.

How big is a family in KP?

According to an estimate, a family in KP has five members on average. There are eight million families in the province, and over 30 million including tribal districts. The programme has been designed for eight million families.

Which hospitals are on the programme?

An assessment team comprising medical experts will decide which hospital should be on the programme. The team will visit all hospitals that have registered with the programme, and inspect the number of beds, major and minor operation theatres and other facilities. Three hundred hospitals have been included in the panel. The list is available on the Sehat Sahulat Programme website.

What are the facilities included in the scheme?

The amount of Rs1 million is divided into three categories. Rs0.2 million will be for secondary treatment, which means minor illnesses and minor surgeries for which hospital admission is necessary.

The second category has an amount of Rs0.4 million, which will be for major diseases and major surgeries. Ten groups are included in the major diseases category and include cancer, major accident, burns, cardiac diseases, kidney transplantation and breast cancer screening.

If the treatment requires additional expenditure in this category, it will be provided but to those who are extremely poor according to NADRA records. The amount will be disbursed by a reserved fund.

When will it be available throughout KP?

The facility will be available in the whole province by January 31. After Malakand division, it will launch in Kohat, Dera Ismail Khan, Mardan and then Peshawar divisions.

Can transgender people use the facility?

Transgender people who are registered under gender X with Nadra will be considered as a family under the program. If they are not registered with gender X, they can use their parents’ cards.

According to the census 2017, there are 1,200 transgender people in KP, but the number is said to be higher. According to the programme director, only 250 transgender people are registered as separate families.

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