More than 86,000 Citizens Denied Treatment Under Sehat Sahulat Card Program in Punjab

The Sehat Sahulat Card, also known as the Universal Health Insurance (UHI) Program, has encountered a grave crisis in Punjab. Recent revelations have unveiled a stark reality: in just 25 days, a staggering 86,217 patients out of a total of 104,846 were turned away from treatment at all district headquarters hospitals (DHQs). This distressing revelation raises profound concerns regarding the sustainability of the program and its profound impact on the healthcare landscape in the region.

Between July 1 and July 25, individuals who had placed their trust in the UHI Program for medical support found themselves devoid of the care they desperately needed. As per an official assessment report, the annual financial toll on hospitals is projected to exceed Rs. 3 billion, with an additional Rs. 9 billion in losses incurred by the Punjab government.

Healthcare experts have vehemently criticized the “blatant negligence” exhibited by higher health authorities and have underscored that a mere 18,629 patients out of the total number managed to access treatment at DHQ hospitals under the program.

The report has also brought to light specific instances of affected individuals, including 4,132 pregnant women in search of delivery services, 3,672 requiring C-sections, and numerous others in need of various surgeries, inpatient care, intensive care, and dialysis.

The financial ramifications are staggering, with DHQ hospitals missing out on a substantial Rs. 645 million in revenue earmarked for the treatment of eligible patients. Moreover, the government grapples with a significant financial setback, as a substantial 64 percent of the program’s revenue was slated for the national treasury.

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