Endowment Fund to be used for free dialysis

Endowment Fund
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government is likely to utilise the income generated from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (Medical Relief) Endowment Fund exclusively for free dialysis of the patients suffering from chronic kidney ailments, official sources say.

The fund, established in 2004, was being used for free treatment of hepatitis, cancer and other chronic diseases but lately the government allocated Rs1 billion for hepatitis patients and Rs500 million for people suffering from cancer. The government is now weighing options to utilise the fund for the treatment of patients requiring dialysis.The health department has now an amount of Rs410 million for the Endowment Fund which it wants to utilise exclusively for free dialysis of kidney patients.

According to officials, most of the patients suffering from kidney disease belong to poor families so they are not in a position to afford the expenses of dialysis.The government is likely to decide in a meeting, to be held on Sept 14, that the income from the fund will be allocated exclusively for free dialysis of kidney patients, because there are few other programmes that benefit the patients of hepatitis, cancer, diabetics and other chronic diseases.

Some of the patients, officials said, also got free treatment through Provincial Hepatitis Control Programme, Zakat department, Tanzeemul Lissaail-i-Wal Mahroom, Pakistan Baitul Maal and Benazir Income Support Programme that caused duplication and wastage of resources.“Therefore, we are planning to use the Endowment Fund for free dialysis,” they said. Officials said that there was also a possibility of including free angiography of the patients suffering from heart ailments in it.

Prof Noorul Iman, special secretary health, confirmed to Dawn that a meeting held on Wednesday took exception to the disorganised utilisation of the fund and decided to organise it with a view to benefit deserving patients.“We have also decided that there would no entitlement for the patients. Everyone requiring dialysis would be treated irrespective of his financial status. We are in the process of collecting statistics about incidence of chronic kidney ailments and the number of patients, who would need dialysis every month,” he said.

Prof Iman said that in future they could also allocate the income from the Endowment Fund for treatment of burn victims. He said that a 100-bed Burn and Reconstructive Ward was nearing completion where they would need funds. Most of the burn victims were poor and unable to bear the expenses of treatment, he said.Prof Iman said that they were also getting information from the bank to know about the interest rate and number of estimated persons, who would need free dialysis. – Dawn