INSPIRE Pakistan

Informing the Social Health Protection Initiative through Rigorous Evidence


Long-term follow-up: preparation of the data collection

As part of the research project on the SHPI, the long-term follow-up working group examines the development of out-of-pocket (OOP) expenditures for inpatient care services (IPD) under SHPI Phase I since 2017. We are happy to see that Vendula Stepanikova, a member of the FAU team based in Germany, had the opportunity to travel to Peshawar between the 4th and the 14th of September and to make significant progress on the research design of the working group.

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Second visit of the German SHPI research team members to Pakistan

After their first visit to Pakistan in November 2021, seven research team members  from Friedrich-Alexander-University (FAU) and the Heidelberg Institute of Global Health (HIGH) returned to Pakistan between May 17th and June 10th, 2022.  Their goal was to meet the research consortium members of Khyber Medical University (KMU) as well as the key stakeholders of SHPI Phase 2, and hold a dissemination workshop to present the findings of the first wave of data collection. The trip allowed the research team to make relevant progress on the research.

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Population panel: Phone survey on children & adolescents health completed

Following the first wave of in-person data collection which finished in March, the population panel group successfully implemented a quick follow-up phone survey on health care of children and adolescents. The data collection took place between April 15th and April 29th via phone with the professional support of I.C.U. Healthcare and represents the first phone survey conducted by the research consortium for the SHPI Phase 2.

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Qualitative panel: Data collection for needs assessment completed

Assessing health needs of future beneficiaries is an important aspect of INSPIRE Pakistan and the first major research activity. The qualitative working group planned to conduct, in each of the selected districts (Chitral, Malakand, Mardan, and Kohat), at least four focus group discussions (FGDs) with the community and three in-depth interviews (IDIs) with the doctors, to assess the status of met and unmet health needs of the poor population in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

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Population panel: First wave of data collection completed

We are happy that the field work of the population panel group started successfully in the end of January 2022. As part of the research consortium for the SHPI Phase 2, the population panel group assesses eligible households’ health conditions and needs, their health care services utilization, and their preferences concerning the design of the outpatient department (OPD) insurance scheme.

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FAU and KMU sign MoU with the Social Health Protection Initiative

During their stay in Pakistan, the team members of our research consortium had the opportunity to meet the major key stakeholders from the project at the stakeholder meeting that took place in Bhurban on November 20th. On the occasion, Khyber Medical University (KMU) and Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Social Health Protection Initiative (SHPI) in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province to enable the conduct of the research study. As presented here, the study will provide scientific evidence for the implementation of the SHPI and the extension of the SHPI to outpatient care services (OPD)  in four pilot districts of the province.

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Newly published in the Geneva Risk and Insurance Review: Does free hospitalization insurance change health care consumption of the poor? Short-term evidence from Pakistan

We are excited to see our paper published – online for now, but hopefully soon in the special issues “Risk Considerations and Insurance in Developing Countries”. In the paper, Prof. Dr. Andreas Landmann and Dr. Simona Helmsmüller study the effect of free hospitalization insurance on inpatient care consumption patterns. This was part of Phase 1 of the ongoing Social Health Protection Initiative (SHPI), which aimed at reducing financial barriers and increasing access of the poor to health services in selected districts of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province and the Gilgit Baltistan (GB) area through provision of free insurance coverage for inpatient health services (IPD). The program, which was launched in December 2015 in four pilot districts and then extended province-wide, covers the poorest 21% of households in the area through the delivery of insurance cards at fully subsidized rates.

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Background: the Social Health Protection Initiative

What is SHPI?

In Pakistan, where more than 48 million people live under the national poverty line, health-related expenditures are a major cause of economic shock for poor families. More than half of all the money spent on health comes out of patients’ own pockets. In the absence of social health protection schemes which make health services affordable, many of Pakistan’s poorest citizens simply do not seek care when they fall ill.

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