Health insurance

PTI government plans to roll out health insurance scheme in Karachi

Map Sehat Sahulat. Photo: File
  • The federal government plans to issue sehat cards to families across Karachi.
  • Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Azad Kashmir, Islamabad, Punjab and Gilgit-Baltistan are now part of the Sehat Sahulat program.
  • Around 30-40% of families in Karachi already have sehat cards, according to an NHS official.

KARACHI: The federal government plans to issue sehat cards to families across Karachi, if the Sindh government continues to resist joining the national health insurance scheme, which is now in place across the country, at the exception of Sindh, an NHS official said. The news Friday.

“The Prime Minister’s office is seriously considering extending the Sehat Sahulat scheme to Karachi if the Sindh government refuses to join the health insurance scheme,” an official from the Ministry of National Health Services, Ministry of Health told this scribe. regulation and coordination (NHS, R&C).

The official said it would only cost 16 billion rupees a year to provide national health cards to all permanent residents of Karachi.

Residents of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Azad Kashmir, Islamabad, Punjab and Gilgit-Baltistan are now part of the PTI government’s Sehat Sahulat program and benefit from the health insurance scheme, which ensures that every family receives services worth up to Rs1 million per year, the official said.

According to the NHS official, who requested anonymity, around 30-40% of families in Karachi already have sehat cards as permanent residents of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan, Azad Kashmir, Punjab and other federated units, while only 60-65% of families pay out of pocket for health services or depend on health facilities run by Sindh government.

The official noted that a proposal to provide Karachi residents with the sehat cards is currently before Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is expected to ask the Sindh government to participate in the scheme. “If they refuse, the federal government will start the health insurance program in Karachi,” he added.

The official argued that because the government provides Sehat Sahulat cards to all citizens, it would constitute discrimination against Sindh residents if they were denied access to this facility, which benefits millions of people across Pakistan.

He added that permanent residents of Karachi were also approaching and asking to be included in the Sehat Sahulat scheme.

“People from all walks of life in Karachi have approached the federal government to be included in the revolutionary health program alongside residents of other provinces,” the official said, adding that they are constantly trying to persuade the Sindh government to join the program, but if they remain adamant, the federal government will step in to help the people of Sindh, including Karachi.

In response to a question, the official said that with 30-40% of the population of Karachi and people of Tharparkar having access to sehat cards, it would take only Rs 45-50 billion to provide national health cards to the people of Sindh, which is a relatively easy task for the federal government.

He reiterated that about 700 hospitals across Pakistan are currently participating in the Sehat Sahulat program, which he said has brought about a silent health revolution in the country.

The service of public sector health facilities has started to improve in KP and other umbrella units as healthy competition between public and private hospitals has started in these areas, he added.

“This program has also given the poor the opportunity to receive treatment in private hospitals in a respectable and honorable way,” he said, adding that they plan to expand the health program to 300 facilities.