ISLAMABAD, Dec 8 (APP): Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) on Thursday inked an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Docthers to provide healthcare to BISP beneficiaries at concessional rates in all of its Centers.

Five Tele-Medicine Centers are located in Karachi while three are in Hafizabad, Mansehra and Dhadhar.

Director General BISP Dost Ali Shah and Co-Founder & COO Docthers, Dr. Sara Khurram signed the MoU in presence of Minister of State and Chairperson BISP, Marvi Memon. Co-Founder & CDO Docthers, Dr. Iffat Zafar and BISP officials were also present.

As per details, purpose of MoU is to provide poor BISP beneficiaries with quality healthcare with minimum expense.

On the occasion, it was informed that according to Pakistan Medical & Dental Council Statistics-2015, every year more than 14,000 women graduate from medical colleges but only 50% practice.

Out of the 70,000 licensed female physicians, barely 9,000 are practicing doctors.

As per Pakistan Health & Demographic Survey, 2012-13, 120 million Pakistanis fall below Poverty Line out of which 90% have little or no access to quality healthcare.

Chairperson BISP appealed all of 61,000 non-practicing female doctors to come forward and assume an active role towards improving health conditions in the country.

She said that they can benefit from platform of Docthers and contribute towards welfare of society from their homes.

The Minister said their contribution would also help BISP beneficiaries as 5.3 million of them across Pakistan need quality healthcare.

She asked philanthropists to support Docthers for setting up more Tele-Medicine Centers and said “We wish to see at least one Tele-Medicine Center in each district of the country so that all BISP beneficiaries, on equal basis, get advantage of quality healthcare at concessional rates.

It was also discussed during the meeting that in pilot phase of the cooperation between BISP and Docthers, three more Tele-Medicine Centers will be established in Quetta, Gilgit and Muzaffarabad in order to maximize the number of BISP beneficiaries benefitting from this initiative.

Based on success of the pilot phase, the cooperation will be extended to other parts of the country.

Dr. Sara Khurram informed that services of Docthers include online consultations with general physicians, lab collection, free basic dispensary items, mini dispensary on discounted rates, medical camps and other value added services.

Diseases dealt by Docthers include hypertension, diabetes, dermatology, mental health, anemia, gastro intestinal diseases, ENT infections, OBS/ gyne, malnutrition in children and pediatric services.

Docthers is an organization which connects home based qualified female physicians to underprivileged populations via nurse-assisted video consultations in 9 Tele-Medicine Centers across Pakistan.