Fallout of political disaster: Sehat programme faces threat of closure in Punjab over non-payment of Rs83bn dues – Pakistan

LAHORE: The State Life Insurance coverage Firm (SLIC) has hinted on the closure of the Sehat Sahulat Programme in Punjab as a result of non-payment of pending liabilities to the tune of Rs83bn.

It was the first-ever clear warning the corporate has issued to shut the flagship scheme of former prime minister Imran Khan in Punjab the place over 25m households have been getting free therapy at 724 private and non-private hospitals.

One of many main causes behind the sorry state of affairs and doable closure of the programme is acknowledged to be political motives.

Sources mentioned that the PML-N authorities, throughout its transient tenure final 12 months, had given a sign to decelerate the well being card programme launched by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), setting apart the success tales of the mega scheme, which was rendering free healthcare service to all residents.

Insurance coverage firm warns of halting companies from April 1; PHIMC says govt pledged Rs10bn, the programme to proceed

“In absence of due premium fee from the Punjab authorities, the State Life Insurance coverage Company of Pakistan wouldn’t be capable of proceed companies below Sehat Sahulat Programme after April 1, 2023,” reads the official doc pertaining to the corporate’s warning.

It knowledgeable the Punjab authorities in writing concerning the doable closure of the programme on March 14 after sending a number of reminders for clearance of the pending dues.

In keeping with the paperwork, big funds of about Rs125bn have been allotted by the Punjab govt for the Sehat Sahulat Programme for the fiscal 12 months of 2022-23 to cater for the well being wants of individuals in Punjab.

Of them, the federal government launched Rs31bn whereas Rs94bn are but to be launched.

The insurance coverage firm has complained that the present premium invoices of Rs83.5bn are pending with the Punjab Well being Initiative Administration Firm (PHIMC), mandated for the execution of the Sehat Sahulat Programme in Punjab.

A PHIMC official mentioned the PTI had prolonged the scope of the programme in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Islamabad throughout its tenure the place all households have been the beneficiaries of the programme. He mentioned the programme’s prime goal was to enhance entry of the underprivileged to high quality medical companies by way of a micro-health insurance coverage scheme.

The PTI’s Sehat Sahulat Programme was well-received by most people, he mentioned, including that the federal and provincial governments additionally prolonged a large quantity of monetary assist. The contract was awarded to the State Life Insurance coverage Company to hold out the large activity of Common Well being Insurance coverage.

The Punjab Cupboard had granted approval for the availability of the Sehat Sahulat Playing cards to all the inhabitants of the province, making an eligible household get free therapy as much as Rs1m.

The official mentioned that because the PML-N got here into energy in Punjab final 12 months, it tried to politicise the programme by giving indicators of closing it down, giving lame excuses of ‘lack of finance’.

In the meantime, he mentioned, the programme was slowed down throughout the tenure of the PML-N when the pending liabilities have been delayed to the insurance coverage firm, most likely knowingly. Quickly, Parvez Elahi turned the chief minister when the PTI-PML-Q coalition regained energy within the province. Nonetheless, after the formation of the caretaker set-up, the discharge of funds for the programme once more suffered because the funds received delayed.

Following the state of affairs, a number of empanelled private and non-private sector hospitals in Punjab had raised the difficulty of delayed funds.

Equally, the insurance coverage firm additionally reportedly confirmed severe concern over the pending premium invoices.

“The insurance coverage firm has issued greater than 30 reminders to the fee of pending invoices,” the official mentioned whereas quoting the official criticism of the corporate registered lately on March 14.

“The variety of reminders exhibits that the caretaker authorities will not be severe about working the programme in Punjab.”

The official lamented that if the large fee was additional delayed for every week or so, the corporate would certainly shut down the companies, rendering thousands and thousands of sufferers untreated below the Sehat Sahulat Programme.

PHIMC Chief Govt Officer Ali Razzaq instructed Daybreak he was involved with each authorities authorities and the insurance coverage firm’s high administration for mediation between them and for the discharge of the pending dues. He confirmed that the corporate had complained in writing concerning the non-payment of pending invoices, saying as big funds have been concerned, the federal government had promised to launch Rs10bn. Different quantities would even be paid accordingly, Mr Razzaq mentioned, making it clear that the programme wouldn’t be shut down in Punjab.

Speaking concerning the salient options of the programme, the PHIMC official mentioned the programme was additionally masking one-day pre-hospitalisation and five-day post-hospitalisation bills, together with medicines, moreover transportation prices equal to Rs1,000 per journey for 3 journeys per 12 months. He mentioned the well being protection for deserving households was divided into a number of classes, together with main and secondary illnesses.

Beneath the given bundle, all of the cardholders have been initially allotted Rs300,000 per household, yearly with extra protection of Rs300,000, if needed.

The precedence illnesses bundle covers therapy for some particular varieties of illnesses, together with coronary heart illnesses, power illnesses like tuberculosis, hepatitis B and C, HIV, power liver illness, kidney dialysis, burns and accidents, therapy for most cancers, together with chemotherapy, surgical procedure, radiotherapy, neurosurgical procedures, organ failure administration and so forth.

Equally, the second care therapy bundle was offering the Sehat Card having Rs60,000 per household yearly moreover one other quantity of Rs60,000 for every type of diseases, all surgical illnesses and maternity companies, together with C-Part, and regular supply.

Printed in Daybreak, March twenty seventh, 2023

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