PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has spent Rs1.6 billion on treatment of over 66,000 patients in the four-month period during which it gradually extended health coverage to the entire population of the province.

The provincial government launched the Sehat Sahulat Programme (SSP) in November last year in Malakand Division and later extended the facility to all parts of the province in February this year.

Under the programme, each registered family is entitled to a ‘credit’ of Rs1 million per year, from which its members may ‘pay off’ admission and other costs at more than 170 medical facilities in the province and elsewhere across the country.

The breakdown of the hospital admission and other costs incurred on the treatment of registered families shows that more than half the amount was spent in Malakand Division, where the programme was first launched in November.

The Sehat Sahulat Programme was launched in November and extended to all parts of the province in February

According to the data available with Dawn, the seven districts of Malakand Division saw a total of 35,060 hospital admissions, which cost Rs868.6 million to the SSP.

Swat, the hometown of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, saw the highest number of hospitalisations, that of 9,737 people, which cost about Rs302.3m.

Swat was followed by the Lower Dir District, where a total of 7,960 hospitalisations took place at a cost of Rs186.5m. Then came Malakand District, with 5,815 hospital admissions that cost Rs139m.

On the other hand, Upper Dir District witnessed 3,921 hospital admissions, Chitral District 3,151, Buner District 2,308 and Shangla District 2,168.

The programme was then extended to Hazara Division in December, Peshawar in January and the southern districts of the province in February this year, providing coverage to the entire 6.6m population of the province for treatments requiring hospital admission.

According to the data collected by this reporter, a total of 11,871 hospital admissions took place in the six districts of Hazara Division that cost about Rs223m.

In Hazara Division, Abbottabad District topped the list with 4,328 hospitalisations that cost Rs85.4m, followed by Mansehra with 3,443 admissions at a cost of Rs58.9m.

Torghar District witnessed the lowest number of hospital admissions; the 105 hospitalisations there cost Rs2.8m.

Hospital admissions also saw an increase in the central districts of the province, which include its most populated cities Peshawar, Mardan, Swabi, Nowshera and Charsadda.

Since the extension of the programme to them in January, Peshawar and Mardan both have witnessed over 4,000 hospitalisations while Swabi has recorded over 3,000 hospital admissions.

The data obtained by Dawn also sheds light on the illnesses that require the highest number of admissions and the treatments that are proving to be costlier than others.

At over 10,000, the highest number of people were hospitalised for renal problems across the province and underwent dialysis at a cost of over Rs42m, followed by 3,423 caesarean births, 3,230 coro-angiography procedures and 2,842 bilateral tonsillectomy procedures.

Angioplasty and other cardiac interventions were among the costliest procedures covered under the programme. A total of 1,100 single-stent angioplasties cost about Rs185m, followed by 738 two-stent angioplasties that cost Rs182m and 315 three-stent angioplasties that cost Rs94m.

A total of 317 open-heart surgical operations cost Rs91m.

Published in Dawn, March 8th, 2021

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