Pattali Makkal Katchi founder S. Ramadoss on Sunday termed “surprising and shocking,” Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi’s statement that “it will be extremely difficult to give treatment at government hospitals for most of the diseases covered under the [Kalaignar insurance] scheme.”

[Mr. Karunanidhi had said on Saturday that the scheme envisaged that government hospitals would provide to the poor such treatment that was required to be given on a daily basis while private hospitals and select government hospitals would handle other cases.]

“I welcome the intent [of the Kalaignar Insurance Scheme for Life Saving Treatments]. But, to make sure its intent is realised based on the needs of the beneficiaries in a useful manner, I had provided some details on the similar scheme in Andhra Pradesh,” Dr. Ramadoss said in a statement.

On Mr. Karunanidhi’s statement that the government had implemented the scheme only after studying Andhra Pradesh’s Rajiv Arogyasri scheme, Dr. Ramadoss said that the health facilities in Tamil Nadu were very good. Mr. Karunanidhi had himself stated that the Andhra Pradesh government had included more diseases and had given more funds for its scheme because its infrastructure was not good enough.

Instead of giving Rs.2,000 crore to a foreign insurance firm for four years to treat a patient once in his or her lifetime, the government could spend the money on upgrading existing government college hospitals and district hospitals and creating new infrastructure as a first step and provide treatments to poor patients many times, Dr. Ramadoss said.

He said that the Chief Minister was contradicting himself by saying that there was a strong health infrastructure in the State in one part of his statement while in the other part stating that it would be difficult to provide all sections with adequate health facilities and experts.

“This is not practicable, the Chief Minister says. Then, are the government hospitals in Tamil Nadu only for treating fever, headache, bodyache and cold?” he asked.

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