Mumbai

Plea seeks benefits under health scheme for all COVID-19 patients

The Aurangabad Bench of the Bombay High Court recently issued a notice to the State government after a plea sought benefits under the Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Jan Arogya Yojana for all COVID-19 patients and not just for those on ventilators.

A Division Bench headed by Chief Justice Dipankar Datta was hearing a public interest litigation filed by Om Prakash Shete, the former head of the Chief Minister’s Medical Assistance Cell, on September 7.

It stated that the government through a GR on August 4, 2016, introduced the Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Jan Arogya Yojana, which provided free medical treatment to people below poverty the line, beneficiaries under the Annapurna scheme, orange and yellow ration card holders, farmers from 14 suicide-prone districts, students from government residential schools, senior citizens and women from shelter homes and orphanages, and journalists and their families.

The plea said, “Due to the highest number of COVID 19 patients, there are no beds/space in government hospitals. On May 23, 2020, there was a government resolution, where the State included COVID-19 patients under the scheme. The category pertains to COVID-19 situation included in Schedule ‘A’, which is limited only to patients with critical care i.e. with ventilator assistance and other life support systems. When common COVID-19 patients, who are otherwise eligible as beneficiaries under the scheme, approached an empanelled hospital, they were not bestowed with the benefits of the scheme.”

The plea said the “non-application of mind of authorities and non-inclusion of all COVID-19 patients” led to common people requiring to pay huge medical bills at private hospitals. The reason they get admitted to private hospitals is the lack of availability of beds in government hospitals.

The PIL sought a direction to the State to provide free medical aid to COVID-19 patients at private hospitals under the scheme.

The court has posted the matter for further hearing on September 30.

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Printable version | Oct 25, 2020 10:33:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/plea-seeks-benefits-under-health-scheme-for-all-covid-19-patients/article32700033.ece

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