safeguard: Health insurance for poor to cover domestic help,vendors

The Delhi government has decided to widen the ambit of the Rastriya Swasthya Bima Yojna,a Centre-sponsored health insurance scheme for the poor,in the city.

Written by Apurva | New Delhi | Published: October 12, 2012 1:19:45 am

The Delhi government has decided to widen the ambit of the Rastriya Swasthya Bima Yojna (RSBY),a Centre-sponsored health insurance scheme for the poor,in the city.

The scheme,which hitherto covered 500,000 people from the below poverty line and economically weaker section categories,will now benefit domestic workers,street vendors,porters and hawkers. This will take the total number of beneficiaries to at least 40 lakh people.

Delhi Health Minister Dr A K Walia,who also hold the Labour department portfolio,said on Thursday the registration of new beneficiaries would begin next month.

“We wanted to cover more people under this scheme,” Walia said. He said the ambit of the scheme was widened to safeguard vulnerable sections of society from seeking treatment from quacks and borrowing money from lenders at high rates for medical fees.

Walia said the Health department was sorting out payment-related issues with insurance companies and doctors. “There have been disputes regarding payment in this scheme and we are talking to doctors and insurance companies to resolve these issues as soon as possible,” he said.

A flagship scheme of the Union Ministry of Labour and Employment,it was introduced to provide medical relief to the economically weaker sections of society. A beneficiary needs to pay only Rs 30 for medical benefits of up to Rs 30,000 per year in empanelled hospitals. The policy covers five members chosen by the beneficiary. The Centre and the Delhi government pay the premium.

Health officials said the scheme has so far covered below the poverty line households and vulnerable families identified by Mission Convergence.

On Thursday,Walia met representatives from the city’s three municipal corporations,the New Delhi Municipal Council,the Northern Railway,the Delhi Medical Association,the Oriental Insurance Company and the Labour department,which is the nodal department to implement the scheme.

“All stakeholders have been instructed to extend full cooperation to ensure that the scheme covers maximum number of eligible families. This will stop people from visiting quacks and borrowing money from lenders,” Walia said.

The Health minister said registration of beneficiaries would begin in November.

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