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Aslam Masih

Aslam Masih, a 32-year old daily wage earner living in Gujranwala’s Mohalla Fazal Town, is the sole breadwinner of a four-member household, which he shares with his wife and two daughters. He had a monthly income of around Rs. 5,000-6,000 until his confinement to bed with multiple fractures of the major bone of his right leg. Masih needed Rs. 40,000 for surgery and post-operative medical care. This presented a huge dilemma for a person who pays Rs. 1500 per month as house rent; who does not own even a bicycle; and who cannot afford to send his eligible daughter to school. Being a Christian, Masih was not entitled to financial assistance from state-owned social protection systems. Neither his elder brother—a carpenter—nor any of his immediate relatives, were resourceful enough to help. For Masih, the prospects of being able to stand back on his feet were bleak. His treating physicians were on the verge of discharging him from the hospital when they learnt about Heartfile’s health financing initiative. Their request for assistance was processed within two weeks, paving the way for Masih’s surgery on June 4, 2010. Masih has been discharged from hospital after a successful surgery and is now keen to resume work as a mason.

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Heartfile Health Financing (HHF) is an access to treatment program for non-communicable diseases. It provides financial access for high-cost treatment for those who are unable to pay, are likely to spend catastrophically or forgo treatment. HHF's mobile phone-driven process is fully transparent and offers help to patients with dignity. HHF currently operates in selected hospitals in Pakistan and is being prepared for scale-up.  

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