Special Correspondent

Some of the hospitals enrolled have performed more than 200 surgeries each

CHENNAI: Various health insurance schemes launched by the government with the participation of private hospitals have benefited a large number of patients in a short span, Health Secretary V. K. Subburaj said on Friday.

Addressing a function to mark the completion of 250 paediatric heart surgeries by Lifeline Hospitals (over the phone from his Secretariat office as he could not make it to the event), Mr. Subburaj pointed out that some of the 26 hospitals enrolled for the Star Health insurance schemes for heart surgeries for children had taken the lead and performed more than 200 surgeries each.

While the Ilam Sirar Irudhaya Sigitchai Thittam had recorded 971 heart surgeries, all performed at private hospitals, the Kalaignar Kaappeettu Thittam for children in older age groups had enabled 2,752 children to get treated at private hospitals at a cost of Rs.15 crore.

Prompt treatment

The schemes were a success in ensuring prompt treatment to child patients on the waitlist of government hospitals and whose families could not afford private treatment, he said.

The Rs.517-crore Kalaignar Insurance Scheme for Life-Saving Treatments had so far benefited 2,863 patients at a cost of Rs.12.32 crore, he said.

J.S. Rajkumar, chairman, Lifeline Group of Hospitals, said the 279 paediatric heart surgeries, including 265 through the government schemes, involved children from various districts of the State.

The hospital’s free heart surgery scheme for children had been launched in a small way with the support of the hospital trust and various donors before being aligned with the government scheme, he said.

Prashanth Shah, chief paediatric cardiac surgeon, Lifeline Hospital, said the cases treated by the Child Heart Care unit involved a spectrum of defective heart conditions.

V. Jagannathan, chairman, Star Health and Allied Insurance, said the success of insurance and patient welfare depended on the appropriateness of treatment and claims submitted by health institutions.