ISLAMABAD: The federal government has assured federating units of continuity of federal Sehat Card Programme across the country which is fully functional and will be further improved.

This was stated by the Federal Caretaker Minister for National Health Services and Regulations Dr Nadeem Jan while chairing the 33rd National Steering Committee Meeting of Sehat Sahulat Programme.

He said that the government believes in one Pakistan, one Universal Health Care (UHC) and one Universal Health Insurance (UHI) implemented by provinces in the light of National Unified Policy, the minister said.

The National Steering Committee meeting of Sehat Sahulat Programme was attended by provincial health ministers, secretaries, CEOs of federal and provincial Sehat Sahulat Programme, senior representatives from the Ministry of Planning Development and Special Initiative, Finance Division, Law and Justice Division, Pakistan Baitul Mal and focal persons from Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B), NADRA, and technical partners.

The meeting started with the presentation of Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Muhammad Arshad on the current implementation status of the programme. He briefed on the current UHI coverage provided to the 2.5 million beneficiary families of AJK, GB, ICT, and district Tharparkar through federal funding.

Dr Jan appreciated all the provincial health ministers for their wonderful leadership and contribution to enrich the universal health programme to make it a unified, one Pakistan, one UHI programme, where poor population should be getting health treatment absolutely free and affordable segments including government employees and others should contribute to the cost in terms of co-payments to make the programme more affordable and sustainable.

He further assured with the support of all stakeholders we will leave a better UHI system for the next government to continue it for the benefit of all Pakistani citizens. He thanked all the stakeholders for attending the meeting and in principle, agreeing on one Pakistan, one UHI system. We believe in One Pakistan, One UHC and One UHI implemented by provinces in the light of National Unified Policy.

He said that the government will strengthen the public health system and integrate Qaumi Sehat Card Programme with primary healthcare to make it more sustainable for the government.

Federal Health Secretary Iftikhar Ali Shallwani emphasized and highlighted the good work done by the ministry and its programme team and said we need to work hard to further improve on the reassessment of empanelled hospitals and to consider high and private hospitals to enhance the benefit to the poor population at least for specialised procedures.

Member Social Sector and Development, Planning Commission Rafi Ullah Kakar emphasized that the Ministry of Planning and the ECNEC are in favour of the continuity of the programme with modified improved implementation strategies to ensure financial sustainability. He also said that such beneficial programmes should be institutionalised on a priority basis to benefit the people of Pakistan on a long-term basis.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023


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