Wednesday December 07, 2022

Ehsaas health expenditure policy on the anvil

By Our Correspondent
January 22, 2021

Islamabad:Extensive one-year-long work has been done on Ehsaas Tahafuz, Pakistan’s first shock-oriented precision safety net. The programme aims at protecting the vulnerable populations from catastrophic health expenditures and is being pilot tested in one hospital this quarter, following which it will be upscaled later this year.

The PM’s Special Assistant Dr. Sania Nishtar shared the above information as chair of the second meeting of the Ehsaas Tahafuz Steering Committee here Thursday at the Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division (PASSD). Secretary and Additional Secretary of the Division were also present.

The committee deliberated on the ‘Ehsaas Catastrophic Health Expenditure Policy’ that is currently in the pipeline to dovetail Tahafuz with the Sehat Sahulat programme of the government. The steering committee members approved the beneficiary eligibility determination mechanism; treatment packages to be covered; and selection of service provider hospitals in line with programme assessment criteria for expanding Tahafuz pilot.

“Once fully operationalized, Tahafuz will establish a one-window paperless and web-based precision safety net. It will also have funders’ empowerment features in terms of micro-transaction alerts, and personalized login credentials for detailed web-viewing right down to the micro-transaction level,” Dr. Sania added. Later, Dr. Sania inaugurated the Ehsaas Tahafuz Project Management Unit to manage the execution of Ehsaas Tahafuz. The team working on the pilot phase also briefed Dr. Nishtar on the progress of the programme.

Ehsaas Tahafuz will work with public hospitals to identify patients facing catastrophic health expenditures, who will then be assessed by the system, and if eligible, will be provided funding.