The health department has decided to start a ‘Micro Health Insurance Initiative’ in four districts of the province for families that are not able to afford medical treatment.
The government has invited insurance companies to initiate the scheme in Mardan, Malakand, Chitral and Kohat districts.
The total cost of the microfinance insurance scheme is Rs1.16 billion out of which the German government will provide Rs990 million through the KFW development bank, while the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government will pool in Rs165.9 million.
Officials in the provincial health secretariat said the five-year project will start next month after the approval of the executive committee of the Economic Council and officials of the KfW.
“The insurance money will be provided by third party organisations, such as an insurance company or a company associated with an insurance company. Both public and private healthcare providers will receive funds from these companies,” said an official in the health secretariat, requesting anonymity. Tertiary care hospitals can also be contracted for treatment.
All hospitals and private clinics will have data of families listed for the Benazir Income Support Programme. Each member of a family of less than seven people will get Rs25,000 in insurance annually. The policy does not have a plan on how and if households with more than seven individuals will be helped.
The project will cover services usually provided at secondary or DHQ hospitals such as general medicine, general surgery, gynecology and obstetrics, among others.
A total of 15,876 households in Chitral, 26,040 in Malakand, 77,135 in Mardan and 36,256 in Kohat are expected to benefit from the scheme.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 7th, 2013.