Here’s all you need to know about Ehsaas Tahafuz program – A government initiative to battle draining health expenditures

Reports state that the Cabinet has approved the Ehsaas Catastrophic Health Expenditure Policy and Ehsaas Tahafuz Scheme through circulation. Here’s all you need to know about the scheme:

About Ehsaas Tahafuz

Ehsaas Tahafuz is a fund-based health financing system that will complement the insurance-based Sehat Sahulat program to ensure universal health coverage and protect people from catastrophic health expenditures. Extensive two-year-long work has been done on Ehsaas Tahafuz, which is the country’s first shock-oriented precision safety net.

Ehsaas Tahafuz is primarily premised on coverage principles to complement the government’s existing Sehat Sahulat program and plug-in gaps. The program has been built keeping in mind five key principles, including:

  • provision of universal access
  • catering to only catastrophic expenditures
  • complementing existing insurance programs
  • coverage of all essential treatments
  • promotion of accountability and improvement

Why was Ehsaas Tahafuz launched?

Analysis of the current landscape and the importance of protecting the vulnerable highlighted a need for a program to act as a complementary initiative to the health insurance program. The program needed to address the gaps to ensure no one falls into poverty due to healthcare expenses.

To address this, the Ehsaas Tahafuz system was introduced by the government. Explaining the purpose of the system at the meeting of Ehsaas Tahafuz at the Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division, Dr. Sania Nishtar said:

The system aims 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, ensure efficient use of public resources, and build synergies between complementary programs.

Implementation of Ehsaas Tahafuz

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

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 abuse and mistargeting of social protection funds. These features have made the system responsive and accountable. And hopefully, Ehsaas Tahafuz will make the lives of Pakistanis considerably better.

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