Private sector hospitals in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) have earned more than public sector hospitals from the revenue generated through Sehat Sahulat Program (SSP) in the last five years.
According to details, the provincial government spent Rs. 10.5 billion for free treatment under SSP in the last five years. Private hospitals earned Rs. 8 billion while public hospitals earned Rs. 2.5 billion.
Sources claim that the inadequate share of public sector medical staff in the income of SSP is the main cause of less income.
KP’s Health Department has expressed concerns over the poor performance of the public hospitals and has called a meeting of the Steering Committee on SSP.
The meeting of SSP’s Steering Committee will explore ways to enable the public sector hospitals to attract more patients and generate their own income.
SSP was launched in collaboration with KfW, a state-owned German bank, in 2015. KP’s citizens are entitled to free treatment at more than 500 hospitals on the panel of SSP across the country. Each family registered with the SSP is eligible for free treatment worth up to Rs. 1 million annually.
The PTI-led federal government has also launched SSP in Punjab, Balochistan, parts of Sindh, AJK, and GB.
In 2019, the provincial government enforced ‘funds retention’ and ‘funds utilization’ formulas for the distribution of funds generated through SSP for the public hospitals.
Under the formulas, 25% of SSP’s total annual income is directed for improvement of services and maintenance of the public sector hospitals, 30% for doctors, 20% for consumables, 15% for paramedics and nurses, and 10% for the administrative cost.