Salman Yousafzai

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has decided to give the facility of Out-Patient Department (OPD) on Sehat Insaf Card in four districts on experimental basis by the end of this year.

However, Sehat Sahulat Programme Provincial Director Riaz Tanoli said this process will be very difficult to implement due to procedural difficulties and budgetary constraints. He said while talking to TNN that it is very difficult to cover OPD under insurance as the government will have to pay money for medicines. He said many people misuse this facility and sale back medicines to medical stores on half prices after purchasing them on fake prescriptions.

Riaz Tanoli said the OPD expenses are very high. He explained that the current expenditure is Rs12 billion, but it will reach over Rs30 billion if OPD facility is also included in the health card even with a small margin of Rs2,000 for each beneficiary family.

The provincial director said the KP government has decided to give OPD facility on health cards in Mardan, Malakand, Kohat and Chitral and give cards to all identity card (CNIC) holders in the whole province from July. He said the tender of the new project will be released before February 20.

“In Insaf Card, we mostly cover expensive treatment and surgeries like heart surgery etc. which are otherwise beyond the affordability of poor people,” said Riaz Tanoli.

The provincial director said health cards have been given to about 2.2 million families in KP since the launching of the programme in 2015 with the help of which they can have medical treatment in government and private hospitals. He said currently those people are eligible for Insaf Cards who have daily income of less than Rs320. He made it clear that those expelled from the BISP programme will have no impact on the Insaf Cards programme and the government has not issued any directions in this regard.

Facilities under Insaf Card

Provincial Medical Officer Dr Saleem said free of cost treatment up to Rs720,000 is provided under the Insaf Card from any hospital of KP.

The facilities covered under the Sehat Insaf Programme are as follows:

Secondary Care

In patient services (All Medical and Surgical Procedures).
Emergency treatment requiring admission.
Maternity services (normal delivery and C – Section).
Maternity consultancy /antenatal checkups (4 times before delivery and one follow up after delivery).
Maternal consultancy for family planning, immunization and nutrition.
Fractures /injuries.
Post hospitalisation.
Local transportation cost of PKR 1,000 (thrice per year).
Provision of transport to tertiary care hospitals.

Priority Treatment

In patient services (All medical and surgical procedures).
Heart diseases (angioplasty/bypass).
Diabetes mellitus completion.
Burns and RTA (life, limb saving treatment, implants, prosthesis).
End stage kidney diseases/ dialysis.
Chronic infections (hepatitis/HIV).
Organ failure (liver, kidney, heart, lungs).
Cancer (chemo, radio, surgery).
Neurosurgical procedure.

Available facilities in hospitals

Dr Saleem said some complaints were received about available facilities regarding Insaf Card, but most of the complaints have been addressed now. He admitted that more facilities are available at private hospitals as compared to government hospitals as government hospitals have to go by official rules.

Riaz Tanoli said it is the responsibility of government hospitals to get free medicines for patients under Insaf Card, but medical stores are often reluctant to given medicines on credit due to which patients face difficulties. He claimed that the performance of government hospitals has improved a lot during the last two years.