With the recent launch of the Sehat Sahulat Card in Punjab, the health care initiative of the PTI government has once again caught public attention. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was the first province to introduce this government-funded health care system.
The Sehat Card Plus is a micro-health insurance program for the citizens of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The program was implemented with assistance from a Public-Private Partnership (PPP), and an insurance company is selected through national competitive bidding.
1. One year on. A review of #KPSehatCardPlus.
Universal coverage makes it simple & easy for everyone to use. No one gets left out; transaction costs of exclusion are minimised.
730,000 users in FY21-22, 12x greater than when the programme covered 25% of the population. pic.twitter.com/IajByhYU7R
— Taimur Khan Jhagra (@Jhagra) March 2, 2022
Under the initiative, more than 7.2 million families are covered, and till now, approximately 730,000 (almost 10 percent) users have benefitted from this and received free or in some cases, subsidized healthcare facilities.
The Sehat card only provides the healthcare services for indoor treatments, which require a patient to be admitted to the hospital. And under the program, Rs. 1 million are offered to a family per year.
According to a Twitter post by Taimur Khan Jhagra, Provincial Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for Finance, under the Sehat Card Scheme, more than 5,000 cardiology procedures, around 102,433 dialysis, 64 kidney transplants, and three liver transplants have taken place in the last month.
Read more: Will sehat card be a game changer in Punjab?
The KP Bureau of Statistics conducted a citizen perception survey in 10 districts of the province and found that 85 percent of the respondents reported improved access to health care facilities because of the healthcare system.
The report further pointed out that those who received the healthcare facilities would not have been able to afford the same sort of treatment without this scheme.
Addressing some reports about the unsustainability of the scheme, Taimur Jhagra said that “costs have stabilized and will only increase gradually in the long term”. Health insurance under the Sehat Card in KP accounts for only 13 percent of the total health budget and only two percent of the total budget of the province. The use of the Sehat Card and hospital admissions directly as a result of the healthcare facility has increased.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government released a report that depicted persistent growth in the number of hospital admissions under the Sehat Card. In February 2021, hospital admissions under the Sehat Card were recorded at around 32 thousand compared to the corresponding month in February 2022, which recorded 65 thousand hospital admissions, showing almost a two-fold increase in the number of patients.
Read more: The reality of Sehat Insaf Card
Apart from providing affordable healthcare facilities, the Sehat Card would also create a more conducive environment to bring the private sector into the public sector delivery net.
The entry of the private sector into the public sector delivery net would help improve standards, create a competitive environment and enhance the overall health care system of the country.
Since its introduction, 95 percent of the total recipients of the healthcare facility have expressed their satisfaction with the overall experience under the Sehat Card scheme.