The Delhi Cabinet on Monday decided to enhance the effectiveness and usefulness of Delhi Arogya Kosh (DAK) by extended the upper limit of financial assistance for medical treatment under it from Rs. 1.5 lakh at present to Rs. 5 lakh.

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said that the scope of the scheme has been expanded to assist more needy poor people whose lives and livelihood are threatened by disease or any debilitating medical condition.

She said Delhi Arogya Kosh was registered under the Societies Registration Act on September 6, 2011, to provide financial assistance for medical treatment of poor people afflicted with serious illnesses. “It became possible to render financial assistance of Rs. 41,43,861 to 46 patients under the scheme. But it was felt that the usefulness of DAK can be enhanced and the safety net widened substantially by revising some provisions of the operational guidelines.”

Thus, she said, the present annual family income limit of Rs. 1 lakh has been enhanced to Rs. 2 lakh for people from the economically weaker sections for the scheme.

As per the existing eligibility condition, she said, the applicant must be a resident of Delhi for the last three years for availing of the scheme and should possess an income certificate issued by the Sub-Divisional Magistrate or any other officer as approved by the Revenue Department of Delhi Government.

Under the scheme, the beneficiaries would now be able to avail of the treatment from any Government hospital including those “run in autonomous mode”. However, dialysis treatment in private hospitals not approved by the Delhi Government will only be permitted at approved rates.

The scheme would now cover life threatening disorders, heart diseases, cancer and kidney diseases and any other disease or surgery procedure which the governing body would term as life debilitating condition or disease.

Further, the Cabinet has decided to enhance the upper limit of assistance from Rs. 1.5 lakh for heart diseases, cancer and kidney diseases to Rs. 5 lakh or 100 per cent of the estimated cost of the treatment, whichever is less.

Similarly, upper limit of assistance for kidney transplant, bone-marrow transplant or liver transplant has been enhanced from Rs. 2.5 lakh to Rs. 5 lakh or 100 per cent of the estimated cost, whichever is less.

As regards annual assistance of Rs. 1.5 lakh for disorder requiring dialysis, the maximum limit has been changed to Rs. 1,500 per dialysis and this now includes the cost of drugs in case the procedure is undertaken in private hospitals.

More In: Delhi