Cancer tops list of surgeries for poor under state’s RGJAY

Since the scheme began three years ago, 3.5 lakh major operations have been done.

Written by Anuradha Mascarenhas | Pune | Updated: December 26, 2015 12:10:22 am

Cancer surgeries followed by kidney and heart procedures are among the major 3.5 lakh operations performed on persons living below poverty line (BPL) as part of the state’s health insurance scheme Rajiv Gandhi Jeevandayee Arogya Yojana (RGJAY) in the last three years since the scheme was revamped.

A total of 6.13 lakh surgeries were performed and Rs 1500 crore spent during the period.

The scheme, initially launched in 1997, was revamped as RGJAY and introduced in eight districts of Maharashtra in July 2012. By November 2013, it was extended to all districts in the state in order to improve access to 30 identified specialty services for BPL and Above Poverty Line (APL) families as well as Antyodaya and Annapurna cardholders.

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According to Piyush Singh, CEO of the RGJAY, about 1.29 lakh cancer surgeries and procedures were performed across the state under the scheme in the last three years, during which 476 hospitals were also empanelled for the purpose.

In Pune district too, cancer and heart operations top the list. According to RGJAY officials, since November 2013, a total of 21,621 operations have been performed in Pune district under the scheme, of which 4,796 pertain to cancer, 2,665 to cardiology procedures and 1,546 cardio-vascular thoracic surgeries (CVTS).

RGJAY provides for meeting all expenses relating to hospitalisation of beneficiary, up to Rs 1,50,000 per family per year in any of the empanelled hospitals, subject to package rates on cashless basis through health cards or valid orange/yellow ration cards. In case of renal transplant surgery, which requires immunosuppressive therapy for a period of one year, the ceiling is Rs 2,50,000 as an exception.

Of the 476 empanelled hospitals, 76 are government-run. In Pune, Sassoon General Hospital is the largest tertiary care centre.

Dr Bharti Daswani, in charge of the Rajiv Gandhi Jeevandayee cell at the hospital, said that as many as 5,153 cases were registered under the scheme since November 2013 and most of the patients were children. A total of 934 paediatric cases were registered here under the scheme, among them a large number of thalassaemic children. A total of 724 chemotherapy and cancer related surgeries were conducted at the hospital, besides 650 polytrauma cases which include head injuries, fractures, chest and abdominal injuries, Daswani said.

About 400 cardiovascular thoracic surgeries were performed at the hospital in the last three years under the scheme, she said.

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