By January 31, 2021, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will become the first province in Pakistan to provide free healthcare for all its citizens. The provision of these free medical facilities to the people of the entire province will cost only Rs. 18 billion, while those with the CNIC of KP will be able to attain free healthcare across the country.
Although outdoor treatment, liver and bone marrow transplant are not a part of the initial phase of this project, measures are being taken to include this expensive treatment in the package on the directives of the KP chief minister for which a contract will be signed with the
Al-Shifa Hospital, Islamabad.
The Health Minister of KP, Taimur Jhagra, held a briefing where he discussed various aspects of the free healthcare initiative. He called it a “universal health insurance programme” that would cover the entire 40 million population of the province. The project was originally initiated by the PTI government under the name “Sehat Sahulat Programme” , but the court stopped the government from using such an initiative. However, the success cultivated from
the pilot project launched in Chitral, Malakand, Kohat and Mardan in December 2015 convinced KP to extend it to its own citizens. Measures are being taken to eliminate any and all remaining deficiencies in the programme by the Health Minister as well.
“Under the programme, more than 6.5 million families of KP would get free inpatient healthcare services. In order to ensure transparency, services of NADRA would be hired for enrollment of beneficiary families,” Dr Riaz Tanoli, the programme’s project director states. “All the secondary care healthcare and tertiary care diseases like accidents and emergencies, diabetes, kidney ailments including dialysis and kidney transplant, Hepatitis B and C, all types of cancers and heart and vascular diseases are covered under the programme. Also, 24/7 services would be available for complaint management through a toll-free number,” he adds.
Campaigning will also be done across the province to create awareness of the beneficiaries of this programme, while the implementation of it will occur in four stages for 100 per cent of the KP population.