Islamabad - Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday launched countrywide health insurance programme ‘Sehat Insaf cards’ for around 10 million people living below the poverty line.

The progress of any country is not possible if it did not prioritise health and education sectors, and “government is [therefore] striving for bringing improvement in these sectors with all its available resources” he said.

The Sehat Insaf Card would support medical treatment of up to Rs720,000 per family, he told the attendants of a ceremony wherein he also distributed Sehat Insaf Cards among some beneficiaries.

The card would initially be distributed among the families in federal capital and erstwhile Fata region as the families there suffered immense hardships in the recent past, the PM said.

However, within a month the Punjab government would also provide Sehat Insaf Card to around 10 million people in the province, he added.

The initiative proved a success in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where around 69 percent of the poor families were given such cards to receive quality healthcare, he mentioned.

The ceremony held at the PM office was also attended by National Health Services Minister Dr Amir Mahmood Kiani, Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmeen Rashid, Sindh Governor Dr Imran Ismail, KP Governor Shah Farman and officers from the health sector.

The prime minister said all of the government’s policies revolved around its manifesto of poverty alleviation from the country by giving incentives to industries and allowing the investors to create wealth that would create job opportunities.

He told the audience that he would soon launch a well-coordinated poverty alleviation programme that would provide an umbrella cover to all existing social welfare programs like Pakistan Baitul Mal, Zakat and Benazir Income Support Program.

The PM said the government striving hard to develop Pakistan as a welfare state by fulfilling all fundamental needs of the needy people. Under the legal reforms, he said, the government would provide consular support to the poor applicants who could not afford to hire a lawyer.

Later, Information Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain and National Health Services Regulations and Coordination (NHSR&C) Minister Aamer Mehmood Kiyani in a joint press briefing said that ‘Sehat Insaf’ card will be provided to population living below the poverty line in all provinces.

The ‘Sehat Insaf’ would cover the health insurance up to Rs720,000 while 10 million people will be facilitated under the programme, they said.

The ministers said that Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) data is being used for the registration of the families for issuance of ‘Sehat Insaf’ card.

The programme to be eventually expanded to the whole country will remain limited to Thar area in Sindh province initially.

The ministers said that federal ministry of health will manage the programme in all administrative units of the country while provincial authorities will cooperate with the federal government in this regard.

NHSR&C Minister Aamer Mehmmod Kiyani said that each family with less than three dollars monthly income will be facilitated through this programme.

He said that the registration of the families for Sehat Insaf card would be done through their B-Forms. He added that all below age 18 years family members would be allowed for health coverage on health insurance card.

He also said that the patient with the Sehat Insaf Card will be also provided one thousand transportation charges and Rs10,000 death allowance if the patient expires during treatment.

He said that using this card, the beneficiaries could get medical treatment for the diseases including heart, burn injuries, diabetes, dialysis, cancer, neurosurgical and emergency treatment at the designated hospitals.

The minister said that the data of the families living below the poverty line would be collected through Benazir Income Support Program (BISP).

He told that the card data monitoring would be done by National Accountability Data Registration Authority (NADRA) as the data of the registered families is shared with the department.

The minister said that health cards would be provided to all citizens till 2030.

He said that initially the deserving families are being called for collection of their health cards, while in next phase after the registration; cards would be provided to them at homes.

He added that government in next phase will also include the working class in the program earning around Rs100,000 per month.

The minister also said that a special package for media persons and artists is also under preparation which will be launched very soon.

He said that the programme will reduce the burden on public sector hospitals as the cardholder will also have the facility of availing medical facility from panelled private hospitals.

The minister said that the medical insurance has been done with the State Life Insurance Company and Rs800 million have been paid so far, while Rs2billion will be transferred in next two months.

The minister also said that 100000 families will be issued cards till end of this month, and 10million families will be facilitated with cards in next three months.

He also said three new hospitals will be established in federal capital, while one of them would be inaugurated by the kingdom of Saudi Arabia crown prince on his recent visit to the country.

Federal Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry on this occasion said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa model has been adopted while launching of the health cards.

He said that cards would be issued in Punjab, KP, FATA, Kashmir, Balochistan and former Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA). He said while in Sindh province, area of Thar has been adopted by the federal government for the provision of the health cards.

He said that government departments including BISP, Bait-ul-Maal and poverty elimination organisations have been brought under the single roof for the data collection of the poor families.

He said a committee headed by Dr Sania Nishtar is working for the data registration of the poor families.

He said that the program will be launched in four districts of Punjab after 20th of this month while 10 million people will be facilitated under this programme.

 

PM launches Sehat Insaf Cards programme