State inks pact to roll out phase II of health scheme for the poorhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/state-inks-pact-to-roll-out-phase-ii-of-health-scheme-for-the-poor/

State inks pact to roll out phase II of health scheme for the poor

The state government Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Insurance Company Limited to start phase II of the Rajiv Gandhi Jivandayi Arogya Yojana (RGJAY).

The state government Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Insurance Company Limited to start phase II of the Rajiv Gandhi Jivandayi Arogya Yojana (RGJAY). In phase I,154 hospitals were empanelled. The aim is to cover 370 hospitals in the second phase.

But despite instances of top private hospitals staying away from the scheme,no new provision to make the norm more strict has been added in the second phase.

Phase one of the scheme was launched in July 2012 and about 80,000 patients have benefited. About 70,000 surgeries have been carried out so far.

It was launched in eight districts: Gadchiroli,Amravati,Nanded,Solapur,Dhule,Raigad,Mumbai and Mumbai (suburban). Under phase II,it will be extended to the remaining 27 districts.

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Dr K Venkatesh,CEO of RGJAY,said phase II will be rolled out in two months and aims to cater to 2.4 crore families. “We have not included any additional provision to attract more private hospitals but we will try to meet the target of getting 370 hospitals empanelled as early as possible,” he said.

Private hospitals,especially the prominent ones,have stayed away from registering under the scheme arguing that it is not sustainable in the long run. “We already utilise two per cent of our profits for poor patients and sometimes much more than this. We are not averse to serving the poor but our maintenance costs are high and keeping in mind the infrastructure and the quality of treatment provided in our hospital,the scheme is not feasible,” said an official of a well-known South Mumbai hospital.

The limited coverage of diseases and the income limit to avail the usual insurance schemes were among the reasons for introducing the scheme for BPL and APL families who will get cashless medical facilities. It covers heart diseases,renal transplant,brain and spinal cord diseases and cancer.

The entire premium per year per family is paid by the government and the sum insured is Rs 1.5 lakh per family.

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