More than 1.1 crore families in Rajasthan can now avail free health insurance following the launch of the Ayushman Bharat Mahatma Gandhi Rajasthan Swasthya Bima Yojana on Sunday.
The Congress government in Rajasthan has come up with this scheme after merging the previous BJP government’s flagship Bhamashah Swasthya Bima Yojana with the Central government’s Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana.
The Ayushman Bharat Mahatma Gandhi Rajasthan Swasthya Bima Yojana, launched on Sunday, will be functional in its current form till December 12 this year and covers 1,401 disease packages related to 21 health specialisations.
With the merger of the two schemes, 10 lakh more beneficiaries will now be able to avail benefits. The insurance cover of families under the scheme is Rs 30,000 for general illnesses and Rs 3 lakh for serious illnesses. However, activists working in the health sector say that the government will have to ensure that there is no scope for fraudulent practices.
“The merged scheme is not that different from the Bhamashah Swasthya Bima Yojana, launched by the previous government, and many cases of fraudulent practices were unearthed during the functioning of that scheme, including instances where higher expenses were falsely shown,” said Dr Narendra Gupta from the Prayas and Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, Rajasthan.
“It is yet to be seen what measures the government is taking to ensure that such fraudulent practices don’t take place in the new scheme. For this purpose, a more transparent mechanism has to be in place,” said Gupta.
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot had recently said that ‘serious corruption’ took place in the Bhamashah Swasthya Bima Yojana, and many private hospitals indulged in fraudulent practices which led to unnecessary spending by the government.
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