Special Correspondent

No upper limit on expenditure for treatment: Gehlot

Procedures simplified for availing benefits under the scheme

Patients will be referred to the AIIMS if treatment is not available in the State

JAIPUR: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has extended the free-of-cost medical facility for the below poverty line (BPL) families introduced during his previous tenure and simplified the procedure for availing of its benefits. The scheme has been renamed as the Chief Minister’s BPL Life Saving Fund.

Presiding over a high-level meeting here , Mr. Gehlot said the Fund would not have any upper limit of expenditure on the treatment of BPL patients.

The diagnostic and treatment facilities will be available in all medical colleges and attached hospitals, district government hospitals and community and primary health centres across the State.

Among others, State Medical and Health Minister Aimaduddin Ahmed Khan, Principal Finance Secretary C.K. Mathew and Principal Health Secretary R.K. Meena attended the meeting.

According to an official release here, the scheme was “virtually defunct” during the previous Bharatiya Janata Party regime in the State as a result of its neglect. Mr. Gehlot has revived it to extend its benefits to the poor and destitute people who often do not get quality medical services.

The patients will get the facilities in the hospitals on the production of BPL card or the identity card issued under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. If the treatment facility is not available in the State, the patients will be referred to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, or the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh.

The Medical Relief Committees will purchase the medicines under the Fund on their own and also procure artificial limbs and equipment. An advance revolving fund of Rs.50 lakh will be sanctioned to Sawai Man Singh Medical College, Jaipur, Rs.25 lakh each to other medical colleges and Rs.5 lakh each to the district hospitals.

The release stated that all medical institutions would establish health desks for implementing the scheme and set up an online monitoring system through the National Informatics Centre.

The State Government has provided an initial capital of Rs.45 crore to the Fund for accomplishing the tasks of online monitoring, appointment of para-medical staff and free treatment to outdoor patients. Committees of doctors at various levels will also monitor the scheme’s execution.