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National health insurance scheme in eight government, 24 private hospitals in Shimoga

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FOR HEALTH: Deputy Commissioner Pankaj Kumar Pandey displaying a smart card being issued to beneficiaries of the National Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme in Shimoga on Friday. Shimoga MP B.Y. Raghavendra is seen.
FOR HEALTH: Deputy Commissioner Pankaj Kumar Pandey displaying a smart card being issued to beneficiaries of the National Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme in Shimoga on Friday. Shimoga MP B.Y. Raghavendra is seen.

Special Correspondent

It is on in Shimoga, Belgaum, Mysore, Dakshina Kannada and Bangalore Rural districts on a pilot basis

SHIMOGA: Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojane (National Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme-NCHIS) for below poverty line families in rural areas is being implemented in Shimoga district in association with the National Insurance Company.

As many as 28,210 families in rural areas identified as below poverty line families as per a 2002 survey conducted by the Department of Rural Development and Panchayatraj are being covered under the scheme, according to Shimoga MP B.Y. Raghavendra.

Giving details about the scheme at a press conference here on Friday, he said that the scheme was being implemented in five districts, Shimoga, Belgaum, Mysore, Dakshina Kannada and Bangalore Rural as a pilot project.

He said that the scheme would be implemented in eight government hospitals and 24 private hospitals in the district.

He said that a family as was defined under the scheme comprised five members — head of the family, his spouse and three of his dependent children. They were eligible to get benefits of treatment subject to a maximum of Rs. 30,000 each every year.

Mr. Raghavendra said that the scheme, which was initially restricted to below poverty line families in the rural areas, would now be extended to such families in urban areas after the Department of the Municipal Administration completed its survey.

He said that “smart cards” would be issued to all eligible families after registration with a payment of Rs. 30 each which could be renewed every year with a payment of Rs. 30 each.

Deputy Commissioner Pankaj Kumar Pandey said that the benefit of the scheme was made available only to “in-patients” in hospitals who would be extended cashless treatment.

He said that barring AIDS, suicide, sex-related diseases and sterilisation operations, all the major diseases were covered under the scheme.

He said that even diseases noticed among beneficiaries even before the scheme was launched would be treated under it.

Apart from it, he said, the travel expenses incurred by the beneficiaries on their visits to hospitals to an extent of Rs. 1,000 every year would be met. He said that the Union Government had decided to cover maternity facility also under the scheme.

He said that the Government had made a budgetary allocation of Rs. 17.38 crore for the implementation of the scheme in the State during 2008-09.

The Labour Department had been retained as a nodal agency for the implementation of the scheme.

Mr. Pandey said that a district-level implementation committee, headed by the Deputy Commissioner, had been formed.

While the Deputy Labour Commissioner, Hassan, had been made the district-level nodal officer, workers of gram panchayats at the hobli-level were made the field key officers, he said.

He said that anganwadi workers and members of self-help groups were involved in the scheme for creating awareness among below poverty line card holders in rural areas about the benefits of the scheme. They had been issued identity cards, he said.

He said that the response from private hospitals to the scheme had been positive as they had come forward voluntarily to become part of it.

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