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World Health Organisation hails NHIS, pledges support

ISLAMABAD: The World Health Organisation (WHO) has hailed and pledged its support to the country’s first-ever National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), recently announced by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.According to reports, WHO’s Country Representative to Pakistan Nima Saeed Abid offered the commitment and assured provision of technical support to the unprecedented NHIS in Pakistan. The WHO would send a high-level technical mission to Pakistan sometime this week to study the country’s health insurance initiative in detail and provide necessary methodological and technical support to the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations, and Coordination for the smooth rolling-out of the scheme across the country, including FATA, AJK, and Gilgit-Baltistan.Under the NHIS, the federal government would append the health insurance premium for the tertiary-level health cover in addition to the secondary insurance cover provided by the provinces. Cashless and superior tertiary health insurance cover would be provided by the federal government to the poor across the country which would eventually cover more than 100 million people for intricate surgeries. The WHO, while appreciating the approval of the NHIS by the PM has said that Pakistan has fulfilled its commitment by undertaking concrete actions to realise the universal health care, including the introduction and expansion of equitable and efficient prepayment arrangements to all population groups through the NHIS. The commitment was made by Pakistan at the 60th WHO Eastern Mediterranean Regional Committee’s meeting in October 2013.The PM, while approving the NHIS, said that a health insurance scheme is the only way forward to provide health care protection to the economically deprived people of the society. 

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