The 'Dr. Kalaignar Chief Minister's Health Insurance Scheme for Life-saving Treatment' has been receiving an overwhelming response from the members of the lower economic strata. Against the target of One crore families, 1.35 crore families have registered themselves to benefit under the scheme, the State Health Minister, M.R.K. Pannerselvam, said.

Speaking at the inaugural of the special camp for screening patients under the scheme here on Wednesday, Mr. Pannerselvam said that the implementation of the scheme and the registration of a large number of families within a short span of three-and-a-half month was quite indicative about its fool-proof system.

A total of 75.16 lakh families had got identity cards all over the state so far and the balance would get the cards in course of time. Mr. Pannerselvam described the scheme as a great record in the entire country. Even the issue of 'Electors Photo Identity Card' (EPIC) programme by the Election Commission of India often involved some imperfection or other, warranting either re-photographing of the voters or making some corrective re-entries," he said.

So far, 20,750 persons had undergone surgery for various ailments at an expenditure of Rs.71 crore. He said that restoration of health to the needy would directly contribute to their economic uplift and development.

In Tiruchi district, as many as 2.81 lakh out of the total 5.03 lakh registered families had got the identity cards. He appealed to the Members of Legislative Assembly to sensitise the people to the significance of the scheme.

Mr. Pannerselvam said that all the taluk hospitals in Tiruchi district have got new buildings and additional infrastructure at a total expenditure of Rs.9.57 crore.

Pointing an accusing finger at the previous AIADMK rule for the ban on recruitment of government employees, Mr. Pannerselvam said that the DMK regime had so far recruited 28,884 personnel.

The Transport Minister K.N. Nehru said that 21 private hospitals in Tiruchi district have been notified as referral units for the scheme. A few more hospitals have expressed their willingness for the notification.

The District Collector T. Soundiah said that the special camp aimed at screening at least 10,000 patients identified under the scheme.

The State Forest Minister N. Selvaraj; the Additional Secretary to Health, Apoorva and the Medical Director of Star Health and Allied Insuance, S. Prakash were among those who were present.

Later at Thottiyam, Mr. Pannerselvam inaugurated the newly-built hospital which was upgraded from the status of Primary Health Centre. He said that the number of institutional delivery had been on the sharp rise in the state. Tamil Nadu was poised to become illness-free state in the country. The annual average of delivery cases has risen from just 80,000 during the AIADMK rule to 2.25 lakh after the strengthening of the infrastructure by the DMK rule, he added.