Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi on Saturday dismissed the allegation of Pattali Makkal Katchi founder S. Ramadoss that there was no transparency in the selection in the implementing agency for the Kalaignar Insurance Scheme for Life Saving Treatments.
In a statement, the Chief Minister said that a transparent tender system was followed, in which most of the insurance companies in the country, both in the government and private sectors participated. It was through this process that premium amount was fixed for the scheme. A team of doctors of the Public Health department and the Health Systems Project had selected 51 diseases covered under the insurance scheme.
He also said that when the government came to know the Andhra Pradesh’s Rajiv Arogyasri health insurance scheme, it sent a team of officials belonging to the Tamil Nadu Health Systems Project to the neighbouring State in December last year. After considering the salient features of the Andhra Pradesh scheme and examining the State’s requirements and health infrastructure, the Kalaignar Insurance Scheme was formulated.
Referring to Dr. Ramadoss’ observation that the funds earmarked for the insurance scheme could have been used for providing treatment at the government college hospitals, Mr Karunanidhi replied that in practice, it would be extremely difficult to give treatment at the government hospitals for most of the diseases covered under the scheme. It was not possible to ensure the availability of medical experts and facilities in most parts of the State and provide treatment continuously. “In any part of the world, tertiary public health care is provided not just through government hospitals. Both government and the private sector join together and provide it,” he said. This was why the scheme had envisaged that government hospitals would provide to the poor such treatment that was required to be given on a daily basis and private hospitals and select government hospitals would handle other cases.
The Chief Minister also rejected Dr. Ramadoss’ criticism of the government’s decision on equitable standard education and said there was no truth in it.
At a press meet, Mr. Karunanidhi told reporters that the Cabinet reshuffle would be made, depending upon the situation.
To a query whether the State government would order release of convicts on the occasion of conclusion of centenary celebration of former Chief Minister C.N. Annadurai, he said that at the beginning of the celebration, about 1,400 persons were released. Petitions for the release of some had been received but considering their crime and sentence given to such persons, there was no power for the State government to act unilaterally. The Union government had been approached in this regard, the Chief Minister said.
About the meeting Union Minister of State for Planning, Parliamentary Affairs and Culture V. Narayanasamy and Puducherry Chief Minister V. Vaithilingam had with him earlier in the day, Mr Karunanidhi said they wanted him to participate in the valedictory of the centenary celebration of Annadurai in the Union Territory and use his good offices with the Centre in getting statehood for Puducherry.