Punjab initiates universal health insurance programme

The Nation  |  Sep 23, 2021

The mega initiative of the Punjab Government for the ADP 2021-22 “Implementation of Universal Health Insurance under Health Insurance Program in Punjab” costing Rs. 332 billion was discussed at the forum of the PDWP in Planning and Development Board under the chairmanship of Chairman P&D Board Mr. Abdullah Khan Sumbal yesterday.

The objective of the scheme is to provide Health Insurance for in-door healthcare services to all citizens of the province, to reduce Out-Of-Pocket (OOP) expenditure on indoor healthcare services by insured families, to reduce catastrophic health expenditure of insured families for in-patient hospitalization, and to implement equality of basic healthcare services across the population.

Prior to this, a series of consultative sessions were held in SHC&ME Department, Finance Department, and the P&D Board. The Board of Directors of PHIMC recommended the PC-I of Universal Health Insurance at the cost of Rs. 332 billion and submitted to the P&D Board through SHC&ME Department. It is pertinent to mention that the implementation of Health Insurance for 100% population in all the 36 Districts of Punjab has to be completed by December 2021. 

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The Chairman P&D Board appreciated the active participation of all the stakeholders and observed that concreted efforts have been put in to firm up recommendations so as to take this dig initiative forward purposefully. Experts and consultants inducted have spent a lot of time to ensure diligence. A good and inclusive debate generated during the PDWP meeting has resulted in most of the questions being answered adequately, he stated.

Multi-dimensional appraisal of the Programme has been done and contract implementation should be the highest priority for the smooth implementation of the Programme and must be handled professionally. He added that the Communication Strategy will play a major role in the successful implementation of the Programme and therefore should be executed in an effective manner.

He added that the Administrative Department and PHIMC, being executing agencies should adopt all measures for robust implementation and the Board Members of the PHIMC should oversee implementation of the program. He advised that SHC&ME Department should also complete reviewing its work on sectoral policy regarding the establishment of new hospitals in the wake of UHI focusing on completion of ongoing initiatives and, subsequently, should document. He was of the view that the implementation phase should also benefit from Technical Assistance with a view to introducing any course corrections.

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All concerned Provincial Secretaries, Members of the P&D Board, and representatives from concerned organizations participated in the meeting.

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