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‘Ehsaas framework alive to rights of disabled persons’

By Our Correspondent
August 18, 2019

Islamabad : Due diligence has been exercised to incorporate disability-related policies in the framework of the Ehsaas Programme. As such, disabled government employees will have 1% quota in government accommodation and 2% quota in the Naya Pakistan housing scheme. Furthermore, in order to give greater salience to disability in public policy, Prime Minister Imran Khan has not only passed on instructions for strictest possible implementation of 2% percent employment quota for the disabled in all government jobs but has also informed the Ministry of Planning and Development Reforms that no PC-1 shall be approved until it is disability-friendly.

Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation Dr. Sania Nishtar shared these bits of information while speaking at a ceremony held Saturday to mark launching of the provision of ‘Sehat Insaf Cards’ to Persons With Disabilities and their families. The scheme was launched by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Dr. Sania apprised the participants of the five priority goals of Ehsaas namely, safety net for at least 10 million families, livelihood opportunities for 5 million individuals (50% women); financial access to healthcare through ‘Insaf card’ for 10 million families; scholarships and educational incentives for more than 5 million students (more than 50% girls); and through the ‘Kifalat programme’, financial inclusion and access to mobile phones for 6 million women and 500 digital hubs for them to access the Internet. These goals will be explained in the Ehsaas strategy to be released soon, she stated.

The Special Assistant to the PM on Health Dr. Zafar Mirza said, “This is the first-ever initiative aimed at the empowerment, mainstreaming and well-being of Persons with Disabilities,” and hoped that the joint collaboration between the Ministry of National Health Services and the Ehsaas Programme will serve as an example for all other public sector initiatives to work together and synergize their efforts to bring benefits to the people of Pakistan.

Through this social health protection initiative, all persons with disabilities and their families will be provided with free health insurance to secure indoor healthcare services worth Rs720,000 from empaneled hospitals through a transparent computerised mechanism. Services available from ‘Sehat Insaf Card’ include open heart surgeries, insertion of stents, management of cancer, neurosurgical procedures, burn management, accident management, dialysis, intensive care management, deliveries, C-Sections and other medical/surgical procedures. The programme will also provide Rs1,000 transportation cost to beneficiaries upon being discharged from the hospital, and burial support of Rs10,000 per death (if it occurs in the hospital).

Dr. Zafar added that there is also a facility for inter-provincial/inter-district portability to avail free services from any empaneled hospital in Pakistan.