A person in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa can receive free healthcare for up to one million rupees through the Sehat Sahulat Programme by just showing their CNIC at a medical facility.
The KP government expanded the programme province-wide on Tuesday and made it easier to use.
Previously only families given a Sehat Insaf Card by the government were eligible for the free health plan. But now anyone with a KP domicile or permanent address on their CNIC is eligible even when they are not being treated within the province.
“For example, if a Peshawar man is making a living in Karachi, then he can avail the medical coverage in any enlisted hospital [in the city],” Information Minister Kamran Khan Bangash told SAMAA TV.
The amount is renewed every year and offered to one family that includes a couple and their children. This is why NADRA has asked men to register their marriages so their family are listed.
The plan breaks down to Rs400,000 for minor surgeries, Rs400,000 for major surgeries and Rs200,000 for other expenses, including prescribed medicines. OPD expenses are not covered.
People ask for higher coverage
Shafique Uddin is a 22-year-old patient with cancer in Kohat. He praised the programme as it supports his treatment, but said that he was reaching his limit. Over Rs800,000 of the Rs1 million was spent on his mother’s treatment and the remaining Rs200,000 will end soon. “The doctor wants me to buy medicines worth around Rs2,000 and be scanned for an MRI that costs Rs13,000, but they say the programme doesn’t let me [because not enough is left],” he said.
Another person argued that the amount should be increase as it is not enough to cover the medical expenses for an entire family.
Transgender people eligible for the health plan
KP Minister Bangash explained that transgender people are part of the programme but do not have to show that they are part of a family. They receive individual health coverage.
A total of 249 transgendered people are registered with NADRA in KP, but the 2017 census showed that over 1,200 live there.