Punjab restores free healthcare services for all under Sehat Sahulat Card
By News Desk
September 15, 2023 06:28 PM
The Punjab government has restored free healthcare services under Sehat Sahulat Card for the masses, the 24NewsHD TV channel reported on Friday.
A directive issued by the Punjab Health Initiative Management Company (PHIMC) announced the elimination of the Proxy Means Test (PMT) score of 44, which was previously a requirement for accessing Sehat Sahulat Cards. PMT is a method commonly used to identify individuals in need of assistance in developing countries.
Under the new policy, every individual can now obtain essential medical and surgical treatments by making a 30 percent payment at private empanelled hospitals participating in the Sehat Sahulat Programme in Punjab. This transformation ensures that individuals facing emergencies, life-threatening illnesses, and specific medical conditions such as oncology, dialysis, thalassemia, orthopedic/neurological trauma cases, and general medical cases will receive free treatment from empanelled private hospitals. Additionally, citizens aged 65 and above will also be entitled to free treatment at private hospitals, except for cardiology-related treatments.
According to a directive issued by Punjab Health Initiative Management Company (PHIMC), the caretaker government has eliminated the Proxy Mean Test target score of 44 on the health facility. Before this, the patient had to get a PMT target of 44 for the eligibility of the Sehat Sahulat Card. Proxy Means Testing (PMT) is a popular method to target the poor in developing countries
After the “Now every individual will be able to get vital medical/surgical interventions after paying 30 percent payment at private empanelled hospitals under Sehat Sahulat Programme in Punjab.
Now, people in emergency or facing life-threatening illnesses or patients of oncology, dialysis, thalassemia, ortho/neuro (trauma cases only) and medical cases will be able to get free treatment from empanelled private hospitals. In addition to this, all people above 65 years of age will be able to get free treatment from private hospitals except cardiology.
According to sources, all payments will be made by State Life Insurance, the PHIMC added.
The State Life Insurance representative used to collect NADRA data, Free Atta scheme data, and Benazir Income Support Program data from the patient's ID card.
Previously, individuals with a PMT score of 44 or less were eligible for health card benefits, but now the Punjab government has abolished the proxy mean test entirely. Patients falling within the 6th category can avail themselves of free treatment under the Sehat Sahulat Card program in private empanelled hospitals.
For those outside this category, 30 percent of the total bill will be payable by the patient, with the remaining 70 percent covered by the government.
Similarly, all the treatment of patients above 65 years of age will be free of charge at private hospitals, except for cardiology.
It's important to note that the Sehat Sahulat Card services will not be available for outpatient department (OPD) patients, ensuring that the program remains focused on addressing critical healthcare needs.
This move by the Punjab government is expected to significantly enhance healthcare access and alleviate the financial burden on citizens requiring medical attention.