ISLAMABAD: Sehat Sahulat Program of the federal government has emerged as another flagship program to facilitate the ailing poor mitigating their sufferings.Hundreds of thousands poor in the country are benefiting from this program as it is fulfillment of yet another promise made to the poor people in the manifesto of the PTI government.Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination is executing this program in collaboration with provincial and regional governments.Sehat Sahulat Program is a social health protection initiative meant for providing free of cost health insurance, in door health care services to poor, vulnerable and marginalized families in Pakistan.During 2016 and 2018, the program started with phase-I of the initiative with focus on below poverty families, providing benefit package of Rs: 50,000 per family per year for low cost secondary care diseases and Rs: 250,000 per family per year for expensive 7 priority care diseases.During that period the program was implemented in 38 districts across Pakistan covering 3.2 million families.From 2019 the program started phase-II of the initiative. In this phase the program not only expanded its benefit package to Rs: 60,000 per family per year for low cost secondary care disease and Rs: 300,000 per family per year for high cost 8 priority care disease but also extended coverage to 9.2 million families living below poverty line, all permanent resident families of District Tharparkar (Sindh), all permanent residents of Merged Districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, all registered transgender and all registered persons with permanent disabilities of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan, Punjab and Islamabad Capital Territory.The program will also be expanded to the provinces of Balochistan and Sindh as soon as provincial contribution in health insurance premium is assured by provincial governments.The services which are available from “Qaumi Sehat Card” (former Sehat Insaf Card) includes open heart surgeries, insertion of stunts, management of cancer, neuro-surgical procures, burn management, accident management, dialysis, intensive care management, deliveries, C section and other medical / surgical procedures.
The program will also provide Rs: 1,000 transportation cost to its beneficiaries on their discharge from hospital. This is the one of the leading initiatives of the current political government in Pakistan through which support and assistance is provided to poor vulnerable and marginalized families across the country.
Currently the Federal Government and Provincial Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is working on expanding the initiative to all permanent residents of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (1.2 million families) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (6.5 million families) respectively. We are hopeful that this expansion will be completed during current fiscal year.
In line with the Prime Minister’s vision of Universal Health Coverage, Government of Pakistan is taking steps to uplift health status of the country and is committed to yield all measures to remove hurdles in the expansion of this social health protection initiative in Pakistan. NNI
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