Insurance scheme to be launched as extension

The coverage of the Karunya Benevolent Fund Scheme would be extended to mental illnesses, thalassemia, and sickle cell anaemia, Finance Minister K.M. Mani said here on Thursday.

Summing up the discussions at a seminar on the scheme, organised jointly by the State Lotteries Department and the Kesari Memorial Journalists’ Trust, the Finance Minister said the government would also launch a Karunya insurance scheme as an extension of the benevolent fund. Premium commitments of the scheme would be borne by the benevolent fund, he added.

Mr. Mani said dialysis units with 10 machines each would be set up in 27 taluk hospitals across the State at an estimated outlay of Rs.37.50 crore under the Karunya Benevolent Fund. Besides this, two private hospitals in each taluk would be accredited for providing dialysis. Immediate steps would be taken to set up short-stay homes for patients and their bystanders close to the five government medical colleges in the State.

The Finance Minister said that from now on the amounts received by beneficiaries of the fund from Central and State governments under schemes such as the Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme (CHIS) Plus would not be deducted from the assistance sanctioned from the benevolent fund. At present, individuals covered by the CHIS Plus scheme get up to Rs.70,000 as assistance.

Mr. Mani said Rs.110.62 crore had been disbursed to 10,307 beneficiaries from the fund after the scheme was launched in February, 2012.

Presenting the theme paper, Lotteries Director Biju Prabhakar said that assistance could be provided to such a large number of people only because the procedures were kept to the minimum and innovative practices were adopted to ensure that the really needy received the assistance without delay.

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