KP becomes Pakistan’s first province to introduce universal health coverage

All families in the province will be entitled to up to Rs1 million treatment annually

Prime Minister Imran Khan inaugurated the universal health coverage – Sehat Insaf Card facility – in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Under the health scheme, the residents of KP can avail health insurance of up to one million rupees per family on an annual basis.

The prime minister has directed the related departments to expedite the process of providing the facility to all families in the province. Patients will be able to avail the insurance in both government and private hospitals.

Over 6.6 million residents of Swat, Buner, Dir Upper, Dir Lower, Shangla, Malakand, Chitral Lower, Chitral Upper and Bajaur districts of Malakand division are the first ones to receive the free health services.

The financial standing of individuals and families will not be assessed and everyone can benefit from the service. The service will then be offered to people in Hazara division in November, Mardan and Peshawar in December and Kohat, Bannu and Dera Ismail Khan in January. By early next year, the Shat Insaf Card will be available to the entire KPK.

Imran Khan urged other provinces to follow KPK’s lead and introduce similar social welfare programs. He also applauded the provincial government on the launch of the program.  “You don’t know [the significance] of the step you have taken. You will realise when people send prayers your way,” Khan said. Thus far, 10 billion rupees have been spent on treatments for 250,000 people.

The prime minister also said that the private hospitals will be given incentives such as removal of duties on imported medical equipment and lower land prices for anyone willing to build a hospital through the Auqaf and evacuee trust departments.

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