Every tribal family to get health card: Wazir

CM wants equipment already installed at health units to be utilised

Shahzeb Khan July 25, 2019
Prime Minister Imran Khan distributes health card to people of tribal districts PHOTO: APP

PESHAWAR: A provincial government adviser on Wednesday stated that the provincial government intends to provide its proprietary health insurance card to all residents of the erstwhile federally administered tribal areas (Fata).

This announcement came as the provincial chief minister called on health officials to ensure that all equipment already installed in health units across the province are operational.

Addressing a youth convention by Individualland (IL) at a local hotel in Peshawar on Wednesday on “Youth of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) and all merged tribal districts from K-P”, Adviser to K-P Chief Minister on newly-merged tribal districts Ajmal Wazir said that the provincial government’s Sehat Sahulat Programme (SSP) should be irrespective of the recipient’s caste, creed, religion or political allegiance.

Wazir added that to make distribution easier and to facilitate residents in the newly-merged districts (NMDs), they were working on extracting data from their computerised National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) identity cards (CNIC).

The adviser added that PM Imran Khan wanted to assure the provision of all sorts of facilities, especially health and education to former residents of Fata areas.

He added that the government has a zero-tolerance policy on corruption in any sector.

SSP Director Riaz Tanoli said that some 100, 844 people have utilised the card, including 13,403 heart patients for their treatment.

He added that the government intends to equip the 7.1 million families in the province with the cards.

Tanoli disclosed that they had started distributing the card in the newly-merged districts, however, the process was suspended due to the provincial assembly by-elections there.

Of the 1.1 million targets for the region, he said that they have already distributed 453,000 cards.

About North and South Waziristan districts, Tanoli claimed that owing to security reasons, the SSP could not be initiated in those districts initially.

However, he said that the hurdles have now been cleared and that they have permission to start distributing cards from August 29 in North Waziristan tribal district and August 4 for South Waziristan.

Responding to a query, Tanoli said if there was any problem in the sehat insaf card, the health department was bound to ask the insurance company to resolve it. If any hurdle is posed by the hospital staff for treatment through the card, the insurance company was responsible to ask the hospital staff about it, he added.

Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) Director Khalid Masud said that his hospital was cooperating with cardholders. He also said that they had set up a separate office for the purpose of guiding patients with the card. "In case any patient faces any issue while using the cards, the staff of the concerned hospital immediately resolves it," he added.

CM on equipment use

Meanwhile, K-P Chief Minister Mahmood Khan has given the provincial health department around two months to ensure that equipment available in all health units of the province is working properly.

Chairing a meeting on health affairs in Peshawar on Wednesday, Mahmood reviewed the progress made on extending the Sehat Sahulat Programme across the province.

The CM was told that the process of distributing 4 million health cards will begin by the end of November this year. Moreover, he was told that some 1.7 million families have already been provided with the cards and are availing healthcare facilities under the scheme.

Mahmood directed to ensure the working of all newly-built gynaecology and children’s blocks in the Mardan District Headquarters Hospital. The health department was told to provide a formal summary identifying the missing facilities necessary for getting newly-constructed blocks in Khyber Teaching Hospital, Lady Reading Hospital and the Hayatabad Kidney Centre.

During the meeting, Mahmood disclosed that they were utilising Key Performance Indicators to gauge the performance of the health department apart from using it for real-time monitoring of health care services being offered to the citizens of the province.

The CM was told that as per a baseline survey, staff presence had increased from 66% in April 2015 to 75% by June 2019. Similarly, availability of medicines increased from 46% to 67%, equipment operations increased from 58% to 77% whereas utility functionality has increased from 54% to 80% at health facilities throughout the province.

As for the vacant positions in district health offices (DHOs), rural health centres (RHCs), and basic health units (BHUs), Mahmood was told that the department has started the process for hiring staff on nearly 4,000 vacant posts, from basic pay scale (BPS) grade-18 to class 4 vacancies, and is expected to be completed by the end of the year. 

Published in The Express Tribune, July 25th, 2019.


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