Wednesday October 05, 2022

250,439 patients treated free of cost under KP Sehat Card Plus programme

The government has paid an amount of Rs 7.2 billion to different hospitals.

July 03, 2021
File photo of Sehat Insaf Card.
File photo of Sehat Insaf Card.

PESHAWAR: For the first time in the history of Pakistan, at least 250,439 patients were treated under the Sehat Card Plus programme in public and private hospitals free of cost during the seven months of 2020-21.

The majority of patients preferred private hospitals for their treatment; around 174,388 people went to private hospitals and only 76,052 patients were treated in government hospitals. The government has paid an amount of Rs 7.2 billion to different hospitals. The KP government has paid Rs 13.056 billion to the State Life Insurance Corporation during the last financial year and under the agreement, the organization will pay back the remaining amount of Rs 5.856 billion.

Allocations for the current financial year 2021-22 have been Rs 23 billion for approximately 7.49 million families of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. At least one billion rupees have been allocated for the free treatment of liver transplants. The health coverage of the people of the newly-merged areas has been increased from Rs 72 million to one million to bring them on a par with the rest of the province.

Chief Minister Mehmood Khan termed the health card a flagship project of the PTI and said it has not only provided free healthcare to people but also improved the living standards of people by reducing poverty in the province. This is a win-win situation when you are spending only Rs 2,849 per family for medical coverage of Rs 1 million and the rest will be refunded by the company.

“The PTI government is striving hard to ensure maximum possible facilities to the people of the province," the CM said, adding that the Sehat Card was launched in the province by the previous provincial government at a limited scale and keeping in view of the importance and benefits of the scheme, the present government extended this facility to 100 per cent population of the province.

According to the official data available with this scribe, around 250,439 patients were admitted to public and private hospitals all over the country. The State Life Insurance Corporation was paid Rs 7.2 billion for the free treatment of patients. As many as 174,388 patients were admitted for different procedures in private hospitals during the last financial year and the private hospitals charged around Rs 5390.64 million for the treatment, while 76,052 patients were admitted to government hospitals at a cost of Rs 1,809 million.

According to statistics, overall 478,973 patients were treated free of cost from February 1, 2016 to June 30, 2021 under the Sehat Card programme in KP and the government paid Rs 11807,23 million to different public and private hospitals. Around 329,821 patients went to private hospitals, while 149,152 visited government hospitals for indoor treatment. Private hospitals claimed Rs 8,408 million and government hospitals sent claims of Rs3, 399.03 million.

It is pertinent to mention here that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa became the first province on January 31, 2021 to have free healthcare facilities for all of its citizens as the entire population was able to get free treatment in 500 public and private hospitals across the country. The uniqueness of healthcare is that a person with CNIC in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa can get free treatment across the country.

The State Life Insurance Corporation was selected after a competitive bidding process. The KP government is paying Rs 2,849 per family annually. The second bidder had given a rate of Rs 3,390 per family, which was rejected being the highest. Prime Minister Imran Khan inaugurated the first phase of the healthcare programme in Malakand Division on November 6, 2020. In the first phase, each family in five districts of Zone-1, Chitral, Malakand, Swat, Upper Dir, and Lower Dir was provided free health facilities up to Rs 1 million per annum. However, in the second phase, Zone-2, Shangla, Kohistan, Battagram, Mansehra, Torgar, and Abbottabad were included in the program in November 2020.

Similarly, by the end of January 2021, the third phase was completed including the districts of Haripur, Buner, Swabi, Mardan, Nowshera, Charsadda, Peshawar, Kohat, Hangu, Karak, Bannu, Lakki Marwat, Tank, and Dera Ismail Khan, when the entire population of the province received free indoor medical services.