In the Northern Areas of Pakistan only a few people are affiliated to some health insurance, and most of the people are paying the vast majority of their healthcare costs out of-pocket. This burden is particularly high for those who cumulate both poverty and illness. Such families are prone to a vicious circle of poverty. Such poor situation is further graved by the lack of proper health facilities in the Northern Areas. Due to financial hardship it is even not possible for a poor family to access health services in nearby town areas. For this reason most of the people visit doctors only when the problem is in its last stage.
Community-base micro-health insurance could be one of the most suitable solutions for this negative nexus. However, for the time being there is very little supply of health insurance for the poor. According to studies, there is a solvent market for health insurance among the poors in different developing countries of the world. AKDN has just inaugurated The First Microinsurance Agency (FMiA) in Pakistan. FMiA will provide innovative life and health microinsurance products to the poor families. The initiative will work in partnership with New Jubilee Life, a subsidiary of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED) and one of Pakistan’s leading insurance companies, as its principal insurer. FMiA is also the first insurance agency in Pakistan to be established as a company rather than as an individual enterprise.
This initiative is viewed as a very good step for secure health facilities for poor families. It is expected that FMiA will start its operation in Northern Areas also. There is a need to design the products after becoming familiar with the needs, priorities and context-specific social dynamics and local infrastructure. To read the news about the inauguration of FMiA click here: