Cabinet Approves Fund-based Health Financing System Ehsaas Tahafuz

The federal Cabinet has approved the Ehsaas Catastrophic Health Expenditure Policy and Ehsaas Tahafuz through circulation.

Ehsaas Tahafuz is a fund-based health financing system that has been approved through this policy. Ehsaas Tahafuz will complement the insurance-based Sehat Sahulat program to ensure universal health coverage and protect people from Catastrophic Health Expenditure.

Extensive work has been done over two years on Ehsaas Tahafuz which is the country’s first shock-oriented precision safety net.

Ehsaas Tahafuz is premised on coverage principles to complement the government’s existing Sehat Sahulat program and bridge any gaps. The program has been developed in view of five key principles, including the provision of universal access, catering to only catastrophic expenditures, complementing existing insurance programs, coverage of all essential treatments, and the promotion of accountability and improvement.

Chairperson Ehsaas Dr Sania Nishtar chaired the Ehsaas Tahafuz review meeting at the Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division on Thursday.

She stated, “Given the current landscape and the importance of protecting the vulnerable, there was a need for a program to act as a complementary initiative to the health insurance program, which addresses the gaps to ensure no one falls into poverty because of healthcare expenses. To address this, Ehsaas Tahafuz has been introduced to provide coverage specifically against catastrophic health expenditures to vulnerable communities”.

“Ehsaas Tahafuz will run as per the parameters outlined in this policy to complement Sehat Sahulat to ensure efficient use of public resources and to build synergies between complementary programs,” she added.

The program is conducted in partnership with public hospitals that identify patients requiring financial support. Patients who are identified are then assessed by Tahafuz against an eligibility criterion. For eligible patients, hospitals are directly reimbursed for pre-defined treatment costs.

The Ehsaas Tahafuz system is paperless, mobile-phone-centered, and technology-based. Its automated workflows, supply chain management, tracking and time-shaping, and pre-configured rules for eligibility ascertainment, help overcome the abuse and mistargeting of social protection funds. These features have made the system responsive and accountable.

Ehsaas represents a global innovation in health financing where a patient-level purchasing system has been developed at scale.

Faiz Paracha is a seasoned broadcast journalist with over 15 years’ experience in reporting and e...



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