Implementation of free healthcare facilities to millions of its people in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has emerged as a blessing for ailing poor and neglected segment of society.
Over the decades, the poor people in the province had been bearing the brunt of healthcare expenditures with thousands among them unable to get proper medical facilities.
The initiative of Health Insaaf Card not only fulfilled their long awaited need for healthcare but also lessened the financial burden for the people who were always toiling to merely meeting their household expenditure.
It becomes painful when the poor and downtrodden segment of society had to choose between bread and butter and healthcare.
This often used to make them decide to feed their children instead of expenditure on healthcare compelling them to borrow money for treatment on high interest rates.
The paucity of finances usually forced them to approach quacks or incompetent health practitioners that could have sometimes lead to serious complications.
Provincial Minister for Finance and Health Taimur Khan Jhagra said history has been made after KP becoming first province to provide free healthcare services to entire population.
“Health insurance has been provided to 100 percent population in record three months as per vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan of ‘free health services to all.”
He said around 2500 health workers were imparted training for anti corona vaccination and over 64,000 healthcare workers were already registered for administration of vaccines to patients.
Khyber Pakthunkhwa has become the first ever province in Pakistan to initiate free of charge treatment facilities to its people under PTI Government flagship Universal Health Coverage (UHC) through Sehat Plus Cards (SPC).
From Chitral to DI Khan, all districts have been included in UHC and more than 400 government and private hospitals have been on the panel list of SPC Program.
Treatment facilities in these empanelled public and private healthcare facilities were started following successful completion of third and final phase of SPC for seven southern districts of KP.
Under SPC, each deserving family can avail free treatment up to Rs one million annually that would benefit 40 million inhabitants.
Prior to formal inauguration of Sehat Card plus Programme in southern zone, the project was launched in Malakand, Hazara and Peshawar zones where people had already started availing free treatment facilities in over 400 empanelled hospitals.
In Peshawar, 28 hospitals have been placed on panel including Khyber Teaching Hospital, Hayatabad Medical Complex, Lady Reading Hospital, IRNUM, Peshawar Institute of Cardiology, Naseerullah Babar Teaching Hospital, Rehman Medical Institute, North West Teaching Hospital, Jinnah Teaching Hospital, Fauji Foundation Hospital and Institute of Kidney Diseases.