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‘Ehsaas Tahafuz’ facilitation desk at Holy Family Hospital

By Our Correspondent
January 28, 2021

Rawalpindi : The ‘Ehsaas Tahafuz Facilitation Desk’ was officially opened by the PM’s Special Assistant Dr. Sania Nishtar at the Holy Family Hospital—the pilot site for ‘Tahafuz’—here on Wednesday.

Dr. Sania was joined by Dr. Muhammad Umer, Vice Chancellor of Rawalpindi Medical University, Dr. Shazia Zeb, Medical Superintendent of HFH, Muhammad Ali Shahzada, Secretary Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division (PASSD), and other senior officials from Ehsaas team.

“It is such a pleasure to open the first of its kind initiative in the country that aims to cover catastrophic health expenditures for deserving patients. ‘Ehsaas Tahafuz’ will cover the cost of pre-approved treatment packages,” said Dr. Sania.

Dr. Sania added, “Currently, Tahafuz is in the pilot phase and is being implemented collaboratively with HFH to identify patients facing catastrophic health expenditures, who are not covered by Sehat Sahulat Card or are in hospital not enrolled in Sehat Sahulat programme; they are assessed by the system, and if eligible, will be provided funding. To assist with this, a facilitation desk has been opened at the hospital to identify eligible beneficiaries for Tahafuz pilot.”

Managed by Project Management Unit (PMU) at PASSD, ‘Tahafuz Facilitation Desk’ has deployed verifiers at HFH. In the current pilot phase, the programme covers financial assistance for catastrophic health costs related to gastroenterology, orthopedics, and gynecology. Eligibility will be determined by using income, poverty profiling and determining how catastrophic expense is relative to income.

Ehsaas Tahafuz is currently patient centric and caters to one-time high health costs for those who lack ability to bear the heavy expenditures. Enhancements are being planned to expand its scale and scope later this year. The programme will be funded by the government of Pakistan and independent donors.