ISLAMABAD, (APP): The Sehat Insaf Card, one of the flagship projects of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has proved no less than a blessing for millions of poor patients during testing times of their lives.
It is always difficult for people, especially those living below the poverty line to financially support critical patients with severe diseases. It is always impossible even for average-income families to bear the charges of laboratory tests, x-rays, CT scans, medicines, and hospital charges. Other than the financial burden, the family also carries the load of psychological tension and physical labor to run after the tests and arrange medicines.
Looking into the sufferings of people, the incumbent government has decided to minimize the burden on the public in the health sector. Therefore, it has conceived a well-planned program of Sehat Insaf Card to address the financial problems of the patients.
Initially, the initiative of the Sehat Sahulat program was launched in KP in September 2016 to provide free healthcare to families living below the poverty line. But later the service was extended to all segments of the society in the province.
The project has won the hearts and minds of the people. The successful trial of the project in KP would probably help the stakeholders to extend the healthcare facility to maximum hospitals of the country. The people have also urged the government to extend the facility of Sehat Insaf Card to all federating units to financially support their patients.
Provincial Minister for Health, Taimur Salim Jhagra informed the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly earlier that around 7.47 million people have registered themselves under the Sehat Insaf Card. They are now entitled to get free healthcare facilities from the scheme.
He said that health facility is being given to the people of KP irrespective of their political affiliation. Critical diseases such as cancer and heart diseases are also included in the scheme, he informed.
It is pertinent to mention that an agreement was signed between the KP government and State Life Insurance Corporation regarding the distribution of the Sehat Insaf Card. The annual health insurance covers Rs. 1 million for around six million families of the province thus enabling the whole population of 40 million people to avail themselves free medical treatment in more than 250 public and private sector hospitals of the country.
Talking to APP, a beneficiary attended of the scheme Sher Alam at Nowshera Medical Complex said, “I found the government healthcare program a great initiative as it has helped me a lot to get the required medicines timely for my admitted mother free-of-charge in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).” However, he said, since this was a new program, therefore, the approved list of medicines lack a number of medicines which the patients had to arrange from the outside, he added.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Senator Prof. Dr. Mehr Taj Roghani told APP that the initiative of the healthcare program facilitates people of the province across the board without any discrimination. She, however, said, “The healthcare scheme of Sehat Insaf Card should facilitate the downtrodden class of the society only who cannot afford the expenses of medical treatment.” The program should also allocate funds to facilitate the disabled and special persons in the society, she added.
Another beneficiary of the scheme, Yaseen Dad told the news agency that the procedural complexities should be minimized and simplified to help facilitate the patients to get the required medicines easily. Terming the initiative new yet wonderful in the health sector of the country, he said, “Still there was a lot of room for improvement”, he added.
Responding to a question regarding making the project a countrywide healthcare program, Roghani said, the Sehat Insaf Card would slowly be expanded to the whole country to help facilitate the poor strata of the society. She said, “The project is a milestone achievement of the incumbent government for the ailing community, particularly those who were unable to afford the expenses of modern-day healthcare facilities”, she added.
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