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Haji Khair Muhammad


Haji Khair Muhammad, a frail 65-year-old man suddenly developed excruciating pain in his chest and was rushed to Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences Hospital (PIMS). He had suffered a heart attack. The doctors treated him on an urgent priority basis as they feared another heart attack would prove fatal. After his initial treatment, it was recommended that further treatment was necessary, however, the patient was too weak to undergo additional surgery, so the doctors prescribed a course of medication for a period of eight months to prevent a relapse. But Haji Khair Muhammad decided not to opt for this treatment as he could not afford the cost. The doctors in the cardiology unit were concerned and contacted HHF to request financial assistance for this patient. HHF immediately sent a representative to assess the case. The poverty assessment enquiry revealed that Haji Khair Muhammad was a cardiac patient who lived in Karachi with his wife and daughter and had come to Islamabad to borrow money from some of his relatives. His two sons had abandoned him after their marriages and he had found it increasingly hard at his age to cope with the rising cost of living. As a result, his health had deteriorated, and he had already suffered two severe heart attacks. However, in both those cases, he would discharge himself from hospital after his condition stabilized instead of embarking on the follow up course of treatment because he could not afford it. It was while he was in Islamabad that he suffered his third and most severe heart attack.

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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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