Govt hospitals in KP told to treat more patients under health initiative

Published November 18, 2021
This file photo shows a relative assisting a dengue fever patient at a hospital in Mingora, the capital of Swat Valley. — AFP
This file photo shows a relative assisting a dengue fever patient at a hospital in Mingora, the capital of Swat Valley. — AFP

PESHAWAR: The health department has instructed all public sector hospitals to provide free treatment to patients on Sehat Card Plus in institution-based practice to be able to enhance revenue from the social health protective initiative and ensure quality healthcare to people.

In the last one year, the private hospitals have treated about 70 per cent patients and public hospitals 30 per cent on Sehat Card Plus whereas. The revenue generated by private and public hospitals was 71 per cent and 29 per cent, respectively.

The government wants the public hospitals to get 50 per cent patients and as much share in the revenue under the free treatment programme.

According to doctors, the public hospitals have yet to develop proper mechanism to receive such patients at IBP while the card holders are readily received by private hospitals. “Many public hospitals lack procedure to pay share to the doctors and other staff from the money generated through the programme,” they said.

Doctors say state-run health facilities lack mechanism to receive such patients at IBP

Officials said that provincial government allocated Rs22 billion for free treatment of patients for the financial year 2021-22 and extended the coverage of the scheme to 100 per cent population of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, therefore, public sector hospitals should receive more patients under the programme.

Dr Mohammad Riaz Tanoli, chief executive officer of social health protective initiative, told Dawn that the government wanted the public sector hospitals to get at least 50 per cent share in the money spent on free treatment of patients by the end of current fiscal year.

“Hayatabad Medical Complex (HMC) has already started work to provide free treatment services to patients in IBP as well as in morning shift to facilitate as many patients as possible,” he said.

The patients coming to IBP are treated as private patients in the public sector hospitals and they pay consultation as well as fee of investigation and surgeries and other procedures.

Dr Riaz said that Health Minister Taimur Khan Jhagra and SHPI staff were regularly holding meetings with medical teaching institutions to speed up work to increase the number of patients under the free treatment scheme.

Officials said that there were 524 empanelled hospitals in the country that included 166 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to treat patients freely under the programme.

The government wants the public hospital to Peshawar Institute of Cardiology (PIC), which is on the top in the list of public sector hospitals by generating Rs609 million through the programme during the last one year.

“In PIC, 99.5 per cent patients are treated under the scheme. Likewise, HMC is second with generating Rs436 million through the scheme,” they said. Since the extension of the free health initiative to all 7.47 million families of the province in November 2020, a total of 452,144 patients have received cashless diagnostic and treatment services at the public and private hospitals.

Of these, 311,385 (69 per cent) patients were treated in private hospitals and 140,759 (31 per cent) in public sector health facilities, mainly the medical teaching institutions.

There has been a nine per cent increase in admissions to public sector hospitals under the scheme compared to last year. The government spent a total of Rs10.94 billion on the free treatment of patients of which the public sector hospitals drew Rs3.11 billion (28.5 per cent) while Rs7.83 billion (71.5 per cent) went to private hospitals.

Prof Nausherwan Burki, chairman of Policy Board for 11 MTIs in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, said that they had been recommending that all medical teaching institutions ink contracts with the programme and start treating all patients free of cost.

“We want to facilitate the patients as the SHPI pays the hospital and doctor fees. The MTIs have more beds than private sector,” he said.

Published in Dawn, November 18th, 2021



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