PESHAWAR: The health department has voiced concern about low admissions in government hospitals under the Sehat Card Plus programme and directed the relevant officials to ensure the entry of more and more patients to those hospitals for free treatment for better revenue.

Private hospitals earn more than 85pc of the money generated by the programme.

The Lady Reading Hospital, a medical teaching institution, will carry out all admissions under the SCP scheme from Aug 1, according to its spokesman, Mohammad Asim.

Chairman of the LRH Board of Governors Prof Nausherwan Barki told Dawn that he was unhappy to see that only 50pc of the admissions were done under SCP and therefore, he had directed the management to double the percentage.

“Patients should bring their computerised national identity cards and Form B along to get free treatment. The LRH hasn’t admitted a large number of patients under the SCP for being without CNICs, which is mandatory under rules to avail free treatment under the PTI government’s flagship initiative,” he said.

Officials blame it on lack of incentives for staff members

Prof Barki, who is also the chairman of the MTI Policy Board in the province, said since the SCP scheme was universally applicable to all families in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, there should not be any problem for patients to claim free treatment.

“All MTIs should fully facilities patients under the programme,” he said.

Officials said health minister Taimur Khan Jhagra, health secretary Amir Sultan Tareen and SCP CEO Dr Mohammad Riaz Tanoli had been trying to facilitate the government-owned facilities and semi-autonomous MTIs to enhance admissions under the cashless programme and increase revenue to upgrade services and benefit employees.

They, however, said with a few exceptions, public sector hospitals had yet to take financial benefit from the initiative up to the desired level.

The figures show that 1.288 million patients have been admitted under the programme since 2016. Of them, 883,488 went to private hospitals, 208,213 to public hospitals and 196,802 to MTIs. The government has spent Rs31.7 billion on the provision of free health services to patients. These facilities have earned Rs22 billion, Rs5 billion and Rs4.5 billion revenue respectively with the private ones receiving far more money than what was generated by MTIs and public hospitals together.

Health officials said the main reason behind the failure of public sector hospitals was a lack of incentives to the employees from the income of the SCP patients.

They said two years ago, the health department had asked state-owned facilities to enforce ‘Fund Retention and Utilisation/Distribution Formula’ for the amount received through the programme, which hadn’t been fully implemented by most hospitals.

The officials said the private hospitals had already treated patients on payment and thus, generating more revenue from the SCP than the public sector ones.

They said under the formula, the hospitals had to spend 25pc funds from the SCP programme to improve patient care, do repairs and maintenance besides giving 30pc to doctors and 20pc for consumables and 15pc to nursing and paramedical staff and 10pc for administrative cost.

The officials said a few hospitals had followed the formula due to which their revenue had increased, whereas most failed to do so.

They said under the formula, the committees had been formed in hospitals under the respective medical superintendents but the situation didn’t improve.

The officials said the hospitals, where the formula had been enforced, continued to record more admissions and revenue as staff members got share in the money generated that way.

They said the health department had been asking public sector hospitals to adopt the models of MTI Hayatabad Medical Complex and Peshawar Institute of Cardiology to be able to enhance their admissions under the programme.

Published in Dawn, July 27th, 2022

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