The government will attempt to develop a general health insurance that assures economically-backward people of up to Rs. 2 lakh cover for surgeries and other treatments, said U.T. Khader, Minister for Health and Family Welfare, here on Monday.
Mr. Khader was being briefed by health department officials on the schemes implemented, challenges faced and the health indicators in the district at a meeting here.
After finding out that most government schemes gave health cover of only up to Rs. 30,000, the Minister directed the District Health Officer O.R. Srirangappa to draw up a report that looks into the feasibility of increasing the cover. “The current amount is too less to help out the poor. I’m sure a mandatory health insurance can be taken up, where beneficiaries can pay Rs. 500 annually and the government will contribute another Rs. 500,” he said.
On the setting up of a store for generic drugs, which are much cheaper than patented medicine, in Government Lady Goschen Hospital, M. Shakuntala, Superintendent of the hospital, said area had been identified within the premises and a proposal had been sent. Mr. Khader promised to expedite the process.
Among the other proposals that were put forward were the development of a centralised testing lab at Puttur in addition to the existing lab at Mangalore; removal of the restriction on setting up new Primary Health Centres; shifting of the Anti Retroviral Treatment (for HIV affected patients) centre in District Wenlock Hospital to a bigger space; sanction of Rs. 26 lakh for the construction of a Tuberculosis block in Wenlock hospital, among others.
Mr. Khader held a meeting to review projects with Zilla Panchayat officials, contractors and members of various gram panchayats across Mangalore constituency, which he represents. He particularly took the officials to task for what he considered “shoddy” management of drinking water supply in the area.