SIALKOT-A local NGO “Baidarie-Sialkot” has handed over Sehat Insaf Cards to more than 87,000 deserving persons out of total 164,696 registered beneficiaries in the Sialkot district’s all four Sialkot, Daska, Sambrial and Pasrur tehsils with the support of the Sialkot district administration.

Prof Arshad Mehmood Mirza, Executive Director Baidarie, said that Sehat Sahulat Program (SSP) is the most tangible milestone towards social welfare reforms as it ensured that the identified under-privileged citizens across the country get access to their entitled medical healthcare in a swift and dignified manner without any financial obligations. The SSP program’s objective is to improve access of the poor population to good quality medical services, through a micro-health insurance scheme.

Arshad Mehmood Mirza revealed that the data being used for identification of underprivileged citizens was compiled during 2009-10 by the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP).

It was apprehended that using almost a decade long old data does not ensure that all the deserving under-privileged citizens were entitled to get benefit of the scheme which undoubtedly is a major step towards bringing a welfare state into existence. The government should therefore take measures to re-compile the data of the poor and ultra-poor so that really deserving beneficiaries may be identified and benefits of the scheme may be extended to them.

He said that the community leaders were also concerned about the number of healthcare facilities on panel to provide In Patient Services including (All Medical and Surgical Procedures). Heart diseases (Angioplasty/bypass), Diabetes Mellitus Completion, Burns and RTA (Life, Limb Saving Treatment, implants, Prosthesis) End stage kidney diseases/ dialysis, Chronic infections (Hepatitis/HIV), Organ Failure (Liver, Kidney, Heart, Lungs), Cancer (Chemo, Radio, Surgery) and Neurosurgical Procedure.

They stated that only two hospitals in Sialkot city and one in Tehsil Pasrur have been enlisted to provide healthcare services to the beneficiaries suffering from different diseases. No hospital in Sialkot, Daska and Sambrial tehsils has been included in the panel. In this way, the massive number of Sehat Insaf Card holders will not be able to easily get the needed healthcare, whenever they may need to have it.

The community leader demanded that at least two hospitals per Tehsil Headquarter be equipped with the professional and technical capabilities to treat the above listed diseases should be included in the panel of hospitals under the scheme so that the beneficiaries may have easy access to the healthcare facilities whenever they may need to.

Arshad mehmood Mirza added that his NGO has also distributed Sehat Cards to more than 160,000 persons out of 226,394 registered beneficiaries in Okara District and to more than 109,000 persons out of 166,413 registered beneficiaries in Sahiwal District.

He expressed his hope to complete the process of distribution of Sehat Insaf Cards till Dec 15, 2019 in all the three districts (Sialkot, Okara and Sahiwal).