Three free liver transplant operations conducted through health cards: Health Minister

PESHAWAR - Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Health Minister Taimur Saleem Jhagra on Sunday said that three free liver transplant operations completed in different hospitals of the country under Sehat Card Plus facility.

The first patient belongs to Peshawar while the other two patients belong to Bannu and Buner, the Health Minister said in his tweet. All three transplant operations have been performed in private hospitals, he informed.

The operations have cost Rs 15 million so far, while patients would also be provided free medicine for one year, Jhagra’s said. The liver transplant of three more patients were expected to done next week, Jhagra said.

The first-ever patient from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has undergone liver transplant surgery free of cost under Social Health Protection Initiative on February 4,2022 while within 23-day two more patents were provided the same facilities by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government under Sehat Card Plus.

The relatives of the patient said that their relative received free liver transplant on Sehat Card Plus after fulfillment of all formalities including approval of Human Organs Transplant Authority (Hota) in Shifa International Hospital Islamabad.

The health department had signed agreements with three hospitals to enlist free liver transplant in Social Health Protection Initiative. The department has empanelled a total of three hospitals for transplant so far.

A single procedure of liver transplant requires Rs five million and each family is eligible to spend Rs one million on healthcare in public and private hospitals under the program. The cost of transplantation is high due to which the government has included it in the program to facilitate patients with bad livers.

The other two hospitals are Quaid-i-Azam International Hospital Rawalpindi and Pakistan Kidney and Liver Institute Lahore. According to agreements, all the 7.64 million families of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are entitled to avail free transplantation at the selected health facilities.

Last year, the department launched free kidney transplants and so far more than 50 patients with damaged kidneys have undergone free surgeries after arranging lawful donors.

Most of the beneficiaries underwent operations in Rehman Medical Institute Peshawar. The hospitals designated for free renal transplant charge Rs 1.4 million for the procedure through Sehat Card Plus.

However, there is no hospital in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for liver transplant due to which the department has inked contracts with hospitals in other provinces to save those, who were about to die.

More than 700 hospitals have been registered across the country under the program. The program was launched in 2015 in collaboration with KfW, a German bank, covering three per cent population in each district of the province. It was extended to 51pc population in 2016, 69pc in 2017 and to all residents of the province in 2020.

The government has allocated Rs21 billion to the program in the current financial year. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa model has been implemented in Punjab, Balochistan, some parts of Sindh, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. The department is in the process of selecting new hospitals for the program in view of the patients’ load.

Empanelment of new hospitals continues as after extending the program to all people, the number of patients has risen. Last month, the department constituted a committee to make the selection process of hospital more transparent and ensure that patients get quality care.

The department has also been issuing warnings to the hospitals violating agreements the complaints of patients.



ePaper - Nawaiwaqt