PESHAWAR, 12 January: As part of the provincial government’s initiative to provide social services to the marginalized segments of the society, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government on Friday started issuing health insurance cards to the members of transgender community.

A ceremony was held at the Peshawar press club where officials of the Social Welfare and Health departments distributed Sehat Insaf Cards among members of the transgender community.

Speaking on the occasion, director of the Social Welfare department Abid Kakakhel said that through the health insurance cards, members of the transgender community will be able to get same benefits as enjoyed by other beneficiaries of the scheme. They can access both private and public sector hospitals and get free of cost healthcare services to the tune of Rs540,000 per beneficiary per year.

Abid Kakakhel said that the Social Welfare department had been working to finalize KP transgender protection policy and a high-level committee had been constituted by the provincial government to finalize the draft.

Director Sehat Sahulat Card, Dr. Riaz Tanoli said that the government had been trying to provide healthcare facilities to majority of the population in the province including members of transgender community. “Transgender inclusion in the Sehat Card scheme reflects the priorities of the government,” he added.

President of the Trans-Action Alliance, Farzana and general secretary Arzoo Khan expressed gratitude on behalf of the community and appreciated the government for enrolling them in the health insurance scheme.

They hoped that the provincial government would continue to take more steps for the betterment and wellbeing of the trans people.

“Large number of transgender people have severe medical problems, but they do not have the resources to get their treatment done. Hopefully, these cards will give the accessibility without any financial hardships,” Farzana said while talking to TNN.

“I hope that the government will soon announce a separate column for transgender people in the application form of passports, national identity cards and census,” she added.

Courtesy: TNN