KP government to expand free treatment scheme to more hospitals

KP is gearing up to evaluate additional hospitals to expand the reach of free treatment under the Sehat Card Plus scheme. This comes in light of an anticipated surge in patient numbers following Eidul Fitr. Presently, a total of 753 hospitals nationwide cater to the healthcare needs of KP residents. 118 are present within the province and 635 spread across Punjab, Sindh, and Balochistan. This initiative, reinstated under the PTI government, has yet to witness a significant uptick in patient traffic. However, with Eidul Fitr approaching, authorities foresee a notable increase in patient footfall.

To prepare for the anticipated rise in demand, an upcoming meeting of the SCP Policy Board will soon take place. This is to deliberate on the empanelment of additional hospitals for the program. Moreover, officials seek board approval to commence assessments of existing hospitals, ensuring that they meet prescribed quality standards for service delivery. Hospitals failing to meet these standards will face removal from the list, while those meeting criteria will be added. This strategic approach aims to uphold the integrity of healthcare provision and prevent the misuse of public funds.

Expansion efforts prioritize the inclusion of public hospitals, but private facilities meeting stringent quality benchmarks may also come under consideration. Importantly, KP residents can avail themselves of free healthcare services in other provinces through the Sehat Card Plus scheme, facilitated by the State Life Insurance Corporation. Typically, patients seek tertiary care services in Peshawar, while secondary care in their respective districts.

Emphasizing district-level hospital selection aims to enhance accessibility and minimize financial burdens on patients. Private hospital inclusion at the district level is contingent upon the availability of adequate public healthcare facilities. Notably, recent policies have come to curb malpractice and foster income generation for public hospitals. This reflects past instances where private hospitals faced delisting due to service misuse.

The government’s proactive measures underscore its commitment to expanding access to quality healthcare services through the Sehat Card Plus free treatment scheme while ensuring prudent utilization of resources and upholding the integrity of healthcare delivery systems.