Ever since the PTI government introduced the health card, it has proved to be a blessing for many. Due to complaints, the Punjab government recently implemented a 30% co-payment for some procedures and suspended cataract surgeries.
The decisions to suspend cataract surgeries and implement co-payment have been made due to complaints related to the use of low-quality lenses in cataract surgeries and allegations of misconduct in various medical treatments within private healthcare institutions.
Dr. Ali Razzaque, the CEO of PHIMC, has emphasized that these actions are designed to deter the inappropriate transfer of patients from public hospitals to private clinics for routine procedures.
A 30 percent co-payment will be required for laparoscopic surgeries, cholecystectomy, hernioplasty, hysterectomy, appendicectomy, tonsillectomy, and trans-urethral resection of the prostate (TURP) procedures performed at private hospitals as part of the Sehat Program.
In response to the reported use of substandard lenses in cataract surgeries, the government has established a committee chaired by Prof. Dr. Asad Aslam Khan from King Edward Medical University (KEMU), Lahore.
This committee’s primary objectives include:
- Evaluating the practices within private sector healthcare institutions.
- The availability of quality lenses.
- Addressing complaints regarding unauthorized lens usage.
- Assessing the feasibility of incorporating approved lenses while adhering to existing package rates.
How Does the Health Card Help the People of Pakistan?
1. Universal Coverage: Ensures that all citizens have access to essential healthcare services regardless of income or employment status.
2. Financial Protection: Protects individuals and families from high medical expenses, reducing the risk of financial ruin due to unexpected healthcare costs.
3. Reduced Administrative Costs: Streamlines administrative processes, minimizing paperwork and bureaucracy compared to private insurance plans.
4. Coverage for Vulnerable Populations: Provides support for low-income individuals, the elderly, and those with pre-existing conditions who might otherwise struggle to obtain insurance.
5. Stability and Predictability: Offers stable, predictable coverage, reducing uncertainty in healthcare costs.
6. Focus on Public Health: Allows public health initiatives and interventions to improve community well-being.