Dr Sania Nishtar assesses Ehsaas Tahafuz pilot operations at Holy Family Hospital

Rawalpindi-To commemorate World Health Day 2021, Dr Sania Nishtar visited the Ehsaas Facilitation Centre in Holy Family Hospital (HFH) to asses operations of the Ehsaas Tahafuz that is currently in its pilot phase. During the course of the quick appraisal visit, Dr. Sania held a meeting with Ehsaas Tahafuz’s technical team of medical experts, hospital administrators and programme verifiers, took stock of the progress and gained first-hand insights for programme expansion later this year. 
Briefing media after the Tahafuz stocktake, Dr. Sania shared: “Ehsaas Tahafuz is Pakistan’s first shock-oriented precision safety net. 
The programme is centred on protecting the deserving patients from catastrophic health expenditures. Enhancements are being planned to expand its scale and scope later this year based on lessons of the pilot.” She then continued, “The programme is yielding great results and is being up-scaled. 
This innovative “fund-based” approach to health financing is complementing health insurance, to achieve universal health coverage (UHC) in Pakistan, a policy priority of our government to build back better, in a post COVID-19 context.”
Ehsaas Tahafuz is being implemented in collaboration with the HFH to identify patients facing catastrophic health expenditures, who are not covered by Sehat Sahulat Card or are in hospital not registered with Sehat Sahulat programme. 
They are evaluated by the system, and if eligible, are provided funding by allocating donations to the patient. To assist with this, a facilitation desk has also been established at the HFH to identify the eligible beneficiaries for Tahafuz pilot.
Dr. Sania was welcomed by Dr. Shazia Zeb Medical Superintendent of HFH and her team. Alongside, Muhammad Ali Shahzada, Secretary Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division and senior officials from Ehsaas Tahafuz team were also in attendance.
Currently, the programme is patient centric and caters to one-time high health costs for those who lack ability to bear the heavy expenditures. 
When fully operationalised, Ehsaas Tahafuz will serve as a one-window and web-based precision safety net across the country.

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