Patients’ feedback to help scale up Ehsaas Tahafuz: PM’s aide

Published July 31, 2021
Special Assistant to Prime Minister Dr Sania Nishtar interacts with patients during her visit to Holy Family Hospital on Friday. — APP
Special Assistant to Prime Minister Dr Sania Nishtar interacts with patients during her visit to Holy Family Hospital on Friday. — APP

RAWALPINDI: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Dr Sania Nishtar on Friday visited the Emergency, Ophthalmology and ICU wards and sought feedback from patients and their attendants about the medical support extended through Ehsaas Tahafuz.

“Patients’ feedback and first-hand insights will help scale-up Ehsaas Tahafuz, later this year,” Dr Sania said.

Sitting under the Ehsaas umbrella, Tahafuz is a patient centric, shock-oriented programme that caters to one-time catastrophic health costs for those who lack ability to bear the heavy expenditure.

To take stock of the progress of Ehsaas Tahafuz operations, Dr Sania Nishtar made an unannounced visit to Tahafuz Desk in the Holy Family Hospital (HFH) in Rawalpindi.

During the visit, she met patients and their attendants, technical team of medical experts, hospital administrators and programme verifiers.

At present, 612 deserving patients have been served at HFH. To serve patients in need, a facilitation desk has also been established at the HFH to identify the eligible beneficiaries of Tahafuz.

Administered by Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division (PASSD), the programme is being expanded to 14 tertiary care hospitals across Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan, Azad Kashmir and Islamabad.

Ehsaas Tahafuz is Pakistan’s first shock-oriented safety net programme. Currently, it is fully operational in HFH. The scale and scope of the programme is being upscaled based on lessons of the recently concluded pilot with HFH.

Ehsaas Tahafuz will work with public hospitals to identify patients facing catastrophic health expenditures, who will then be assessed by the system, and if eligible, will be provided funding by allocating donations to the patient. Later this year, Tahafuz is being rolled out using a phased approach.

According to its predefined scope, Ehsaas Tahafuz caters to patients facing catastrophic health expenditures, who are not covered by Sehat Sahulat Card or are in hospital not registered with Sehat Sahulat programme.

Once fully operationalised nationwide, Ehsaas Tahafuz will set up a one-window paperless and web-based precision safety net. It will also have funders’ empowerment features in terms of micro-transaction alerts, and personalised login credentials for detailed web-viewing right down to the micro-transaction level.

Published in Dawn, July 31st, 2021

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