Persons with disabilities to get 100pc coverage under Sehat Insaf Card Scheme

Updated July 06, 2019

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Sehat Sahulat Programme will provide free wheelchairs and white canes to the disabled beneficiaries. — Dawn/File
Sehat Sahulat Programme will provide free wheelchairs and white canes to the disabled beneficiaries. — Dawn/File

ISLAMABAD: Persons with disabilities in the country will get 100 per cent health coverage under the Prime Minister’s Sehat Insaf Card Scheme.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza told a press conference that the prime minister had issued special directives to include all those registered with Nadra as disabled for the free healthcare coverage.

Moreover, Sehat Sahulat Programme will provide free wheelchairs and white canes to the disabled beneficiaries, he said.

Mr Mirza said the entire population of erstwhile Fata and Tharparkar in Sindh would also be provided 100pc free healthcare facilities under the Sehat Insaf Card Scheme.

PM’s special assistant says entire population of erstwhile Fata and Tharparkar in Sindh would also be provided 100pc free healthcare facilities

He said Rs190 billion had been allocated for the Sehat Sahulat Programme and the cardholders can get free treatment in 280 hospitals in 43 districts of Punjab, KP and Balochistan. He, however, said the Sindh government had refused to get benefit from the programme saying they were already providing healthcare facilities to people of Sindh.

“It could be their [Sindh government’s] thinking or a political difference,” he said.

To a question, he admitted that the recurring health budget had faced a decrease as for the fiscal year 2019-20 the allocation had been reduced from Rs13 billion to Rs11 billion. But the revenue to be collected under the health tax will also be spent on healthcare, he said.

He said the cards were being provided to the beneficiaries on the basis of a “khushali survey” conducted in 2010. However, he said another survey would be carried out to determine the poverty profile of the people.

He said through the social health protection initiative, health insurance was to be provided to 15 million families living below the poverty line - 6,897,000 families in Punjab (36 districts) , 515,000 in Balochistan (32 districts), 3,868,316 in Sindh (29 districts) and entire Tharparkar district ( 300,000 families), 1,621,088 families in KP (29 districts), 335,000 families of AJK (11 districts), 126,000 families in Gilgit-Baltistan (nine districts), 1,000,000 families in the merged districts of KP (11 districts) and 85,000 families in Islamabad (one district).

He said the Sehat Sahulat Programme covered only indoor healthcare services such as major treatment for heart diseases (stents + open heart surgeries), diabetes mellitus complication, burns and accidents, dialysis, chronic infections complications, organ failure management, cancer management, including chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery, neuro-surgical procedures, all secondary medical and surgical illnesses, maternity package to promote mother and child health and all emergencies. It has insurance limit of up to Rs720,000 per year. He also said there were 285 empanelled hospitals across Pakistan for providing free of cost services to the beneficiaries.

There is also the provision of transportation cost of Rs1,000 at the time of discharge of every beneficiary from a hospital. In case any death occurs in the empanelled hospital, the burial support of Rs10,000 is also given to the family of beneficiary.

Besides, there is also inter-provincial/inter-district portability where free of cost services from any empanelled hospital can be availed.

Published in Dawn, July 6th, 2019