Sehat Sahulat Programme-a true social health protection initiative
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ISLAMABAD, Nov 16 (APP): The Sehat Sahulat Programme is a social health protection initiative of federal and participating provincial and regional governments working to provide free of cost health insurance, for indoor health care services to the poor, vulnerable and marginalized families in Pakistan.

During 2016 and 2018 the programme started with phase-I of the initiative. During that initiative it focused 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 seven priority care diseases.

The programme was then implemented in 38 districts across Pakistan covering 3.2 million families.

From 2019 the programme started phase-II of the initiative, under which it 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 eight priority care diseases but also extended coverage to 9.2 million families living below poverty line, all permanent resident families of Tharparkar District (Sindh), all permanent residents of merged districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, all registered transgenders and all registered persons with permanent disabilities of Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK), Gilgit Baltistan (GB), Punjab and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).

The programme will also be expanded to the provinces of Balochistan and Sindh as soon as provincial contribution in health insurance premium is assured by the provincial governments.

The services, which are available from “Qaumi Sehat Card” (former Sehat Insaf Card), include open heart surgeries, insertion of stunts, management of cancer, neurosurgical procures, burn management, accident management, dialysis, intensive care management, deliveries, C section and other medical and surgical procedures. The programme 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 the 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 AJK (1.2 million families) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (6.5 million families) respectively. This expansion will be completed during the current fiscal year.

In line with Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision of Universal Health Coverage, the Federal Government 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.