The new health insurance scheme proposed by the government is an improvement on the previous regime's insurance package and will extend more benefits to each beneficiary and family, Health Minister V. S. Vijay said on Friday. Addressing the 11th edition of ‘NAILSCON 2011,' the conference of the National Association of Interlocking Surgeons, Dr. Vijay said each family would get an insurance of up to Rs.4 lakh in four years unlike the scheme of the previous government where only Rs.1 lakh was provided for a period of four years.

Pointing out that the new scheme focussed only on essential surgeries in the insurance package, Dr. Vijay, an orthopaedic himself said in a speciality like orthopaedics all limb fractures, compound fractures, arthroscopic surgeries, spinal and amputation surgeries had been included in the scheme leaving out of its ambit of coverage only sophisticated procedures that affect small number of the population.

The insurance scheme would also benefit Government Medical Colleges and District Headquarters Hospitals that perform these surgeries, the Minister said. The revenue generated would be useful for improving facilities and infrastructure of the participating hospital. Besides, the medical and surgical team involved in the management of patients would be allocated 15 per cent of the total revenue, he said.

Mayil Vahanan Natarajan, Vice-Chancellor, The Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University, released the scientific abstracts of the three-day conference by handing over the first copy to the Minister.

On the occasion, Dr. Natarajan stressed the need for medical education to align more closely with current medical practice as also the health needs of the country. He also reminded orthopaedic surgeons that the role of clinical evaluation remained paramount in spite of advances in technology.

Sudhir Babhulkar, NAILS president, Velasamy Raveendran, secretary and R.H. Govardhan, organising secretary participated.