Contextualising Sehat Sahulat programme in the drive towards universal health coverage in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

Sheraz Ahmad Khan*, Kathrin Cresswell, Aziz Sheikh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

OBJECTIVES: To describe the evolution of the Sehat Sahulat Programme (SSP), a large-scale health insurance scheme launched by the provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan and to contextualise it in the national discourse around Universal Health Coverage (UHC). METHODS: This review was based on peer-reviewed publications and publicly available grey literature over the last five years (2016-2020). We employed a combination of deductive and inductive approaches informed by the World Health Organisation's (WHO) UHC box framework. REVIEW: SSP was launched on 15 December 2015. It has been implemented in four phases, with a gradual expansion in the population, services and cost coverage. In 2015, SSP covered the poorest 21% of the population in four pilot districts. On 20 August 2020, the coverage was expanded to 100% of the population of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. SSP conferred free access to an expanding list of inpatient, secondary and tertiary care services. The scheme covered all expenditures during hospital admission, with a defined upper ceiling. The ceiling for secondary and tertiary care has improved, with marked changes in tertiary coverage, from PKR 0 in Phase1 PKR 400,000 in Phase 4. Despite the progress, SSP did not cover key health-related targets under Goal 3 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and partially covered Pakistan's UHC benefits package. CONCLUSION: SSP coverage of population, disease and financial protection has expanded over five years. However, SSP coverage was not aligned with the national UHC priorities and the SDGs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-70
Number of pages8
JournalKhyber Medical University Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Disease Control Priority Volume 3 (Non-MeSH)
  • Insurance (MeSH)
  • Insurance, Health (MeSH)
  • Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (Non-MeSH)
  • Pakistan (MeSH)
  • Sehat insaf (Non-MeSH)
  • Sehat Sahulat Programme (Non-MeSH)
  • Social health protection (Non-MeSH)
  • Universal Health Coverage (Non-MeSH)


Dive into the research topics of 'Contextualising Sehat Sahulat programme in the drive towards universal health coverage in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this