ISLAMABAD: The Sehat Sahulat Programme has moved a summary to the Prime Minister Office seeking approval to provide Qaumi Sehat Cards (QSC) to 100 per cent population of the federal capital.
According to estimates, there are 220,000 families who have permanent residence of the city as per their computerised national identity cards (CNICs). If approved, each family will get cashless indoor healthcare services up to Rs720,000 in a year.
A senior official of the Ministry of National Health Service (NHS) said the summary has been moved to the PM Office for approval.
“QSC is currently insured with the State Life Insurance Corporation of Pakistan but its tenure is going to expire in Dec 2021. As we have to finalise a new insurance company or continue with the current one through bids, we are considering including 100pc population of Islamabad in the programme starting from December this year.”
The official said only permanent residents of the federal capital will be eligible to get the facility.
He said only citizens with permanent address of Islamabad mentioned in their national identity cards can get the facility to avoid chances of doubling as the present address keeps changing.
“However, compared to other cities, a majority of people living in the federal capital have come from other cities, so we will discuss the possibility of extending the facility to them too. We have ample time and will defiantly reach to a decision about it,” he said.
There are 220,000 families who have permanent residence of city as per their CNICs, says official
QSC, which was formerly called Sehat Insaf Card, is a health treatment facility through which each family can get cashless indoor healthcare services up to Rs720,000 in a year.
“In Pakistan, majority of families remain hand to mouth throughout the year. In case of an accident, a disease or any other health related issue, they lose their assets such as houses, land, jewellery or are forced to take loans which become a liability for the rest of their life. That is why the government has been issuing QSC to those who earning less than $2 a day,” NHS ministry’s spokesperson Sajid Shah told Dawn.
He said through the cards, enrolled families can access indoor healthcare services free of cost from around 400 panel hospitals across Pakistan.
“Each family can get indoor treatment facility up to Rs720,000. All medicines, investigations and procedures are covered during admission. Transportation cost of Rs1,000 is also given to the patient at the time of their discharge. Moreover, in case of death in hospital, burial support of Rs10,000 per death is provided. Even at the time of discharge, medicines for five days are arranged and one free follow-up visit is also covered,” he said.
In reply to a question, Mr Shah said any person can check his eligibility status by sending their CNIC number to 8500. He said people can also lodge complaints or seek information from the toll free help line number 0800-09009.
“So far, the government has issued health cards to seven million deserving families in districts of Punjab, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan, tribal areas, Islamabad and Tharparkar,” he said.
When asked why the facility was not provided in Sindh and Balochistan, he said it will be launched there after getting approval from both the provinces. He said the government has recently expanded the coverage of Sehat Sahulat Programme to all permanent resident families of Azad Kashmir.
Mr Shah said the coverage has also been extended to the transgender persons and persons with permanent disabilities.
Published in Dawn, January 31st, 2021