Mahmood orders inclusion of liver transplant in free treatment scheme

Published November 19, 2020
KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan. — DawnNewsTV/File
KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan. — DawnNewsTV/File

PESHAWAR: As Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan has issued instructions to include liver transplant in Sehat Sahulat Programme, the number of admissions to hospitals under the free health initiative has tripled since its extension to the whole population of Zone-I (Malakand division) last month.

The chief minister directed the authorities concerned at a meeting here on Wednesday to cover the patients requiring liver transplantation under the programme that was being extended to the entire population of the province in a phase-wised manner.

Number of hospital admissions tripled under the programme

Dr Mohammad Riaz Tanoli, the director of Sehat Sahulat Programme (SSP), told Dawn that they were set to extend the health insurance programme to Zone-II from December 1, following Zone-I where the coverage of entire population began on November 1.

“Admissions have increased three-fold in Zone-1 compared to last month when it covered only those, who had Sehat Insaf Cards (SICs). During the whole month of October, we had admitted 74 patients but the number of hospitalisations is 162 till November 16,” he said.

Dr Riaz said that the number of patients admitted per day was about 11 compared to last month, when they received 2.5 patients per day.

He said that extension of the programme to the whole population of the province was started from Zone-I (Malakand) to be followed by Hazara on December 1; Mardan and Peshawar on January 1; and Kohat, Bannu and Dera Ismail on February 1. It has been a blessing for the patients as they receive full coverage for most of the ailments requiring hospital admission.

“We have designated 37 hospitals including public and private in Zone-I for a total of 1,389,327 families including 572,036 in Swat, 228,054 in Malakand, 301,310 in Lower Dir, 172,878 in Dir Upper and 115,049 in Chitral to get free treatment under the programme,” he said.

By January 1, SSP would be extended to all seven million residents of the province. The government has already allocated Rs18 billion for providing free healthcare facilities to the entire population of the province.

The programme was launched in collaboration with KfW, a German bank, in four districts in 2015, covering three per cent population of the province. It was extended to 51 per cent population in 2016 and 69 per cent in 2017 and the entire province in 2020.

“So far, we have provided free diagnostic and treatment facilities to more than 280,000 patients throughout the province. A total of Rs8 billion has been spent on the treatment of patients,” said Dr Riaz.

He said that in the next phase it was being extended to Zone-II to cover Abbottabad, Mansehra, Kohistan, Torghar, Shangla and Buner. He said that the process of coverage of the entire province was in progress but the programme was open to the people, who had been already issued SICs in all districts.

Dr Riaz said that the SSP was started in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and it was replicated in other provinces of the country. It was being constantly supervised by Health Minister Taimur Salim Jhagra to ensure its enforcement in the entire province and benefit each and every patient regardless of financial status, he added.

Previously, only the deserving people were entitled to avail free treatment facility under the programme but now all the citizens have access to free treatment services having KP’s identity cards.

Dr Riaz said that selection of hospitals was in progress for remaining districts under a transparent mechanism. “There is a system of monitoring the empaneled hospitals to ensure that the patients get quality services and those failing to honour agreements with SSP would see their contracts cancelled,” he added.

Published in Dawn, November 19th, 2020

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