Review of Health and Welfare Programs in Pakistan
Many countries in the world are making real progress on civil rights for people with disabilities, however in Pakistan the situation is not very encouraging. We are still at the crossroads for rescue and revival of our existing infrastructure. There are natural and environmental reasons for the increase in disabilities in our society, from terrorism to industrial and road accidents.
- Disabled Stipend (Khidmat Card)
- National Insurance
- Rehab Centers in Punjab Districts
These concerns are linked with previous campaigns for social uplift and new efforts can not bear fruit without taking inventory of past work. Pakistan is witnessing an exploding population sinking in poverty and there seems to be an obvious void between health care and social welfare programmes. All major campaigns for welfare and health care which the nation has experienced earlier have begun with good intentions and big budgets, however, somewhere in-between, the programmes go off-track and become wholly ineffective.
- :It is important to review the stipend amount for “Khidmat Card “ and should only be finalised with relevant feedback, while keeping real costs of basic survival in mind.
- Approval of Khidmat Card applicants’ cases should be decided considering the severity of each individual applicant’s disability.
- The definition and classification of Disability should be set with our local conditions in mind and public feedback should play a significant part in the process.
- Disability-related services should be approved for the seriously and chronically- disabled on an urgent basis.
- Procurement process for citizens to access disability care, such as devices, crutches and therapies, should be clearly explained and this information should be easily accessible to the public-at-large (in bilingual/multilingual formats).
This information will be easier to understand if authorities and concerned departments try to answer these few Questions for the intended beneficiaries !
- Suggestion(disability should be determined at the time of first registration at NADRA like for a B form, or CNIC ) ?
- What is the role of NADRA ?
- Is there an overlapping of services being offered, like the “Khidmat card” , , BISP, National Insurance” and “Rehab centre” services?
- Do applicants require one central form or approval number ?
- Do they need to submit multiple applications to get disability services and funds?
Suggestions for PWD:
The way the disabled currently access services or even prove their disabilities to the Social Security department is exhausting, and self-defeating. There has to be a better, more accountable process that reaches directly to the disabled population in-need, from the top-down.
- Basic Health Unit (BHU), Lady Health Visitors (LHV) and Lady Health Workers (LHW) programmes can be used for an early intervention system setup to minimize disabilities damage if they occur at the time of birth (such as Cerebral Palsy, Down’s Syndrome, etc).
- District hospitals should be equipped and staffed better to provide services for their local populations.
- Suggestion: Government should make it mandatory for employers to get group insurance for all of their employees.
- Suggestion: Capacity Building: There is an an urgent need for a framework for capacity building in relevant fields, from education to creating jobs in fields concerned with the disability sector. This can be accomplished by giving free scholarships to welfare professions like Physiotherapist, occupational, and vocational therapist and at the school-level, providing caregivers, and nurses’ training with guaranteed jobs to fill the space and need.
- At the next level, “Ray Shumari” NADRA cards should have disability data updated to verify family members with special (disabled) needs and with chronic health care needs.
BISP or Khidmat Card: