Scheme to provide free dentures to senior citizens

The State government will launch a scheme to provide free dentures to poor senior citizens in November.

Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare U T Khader said below poverty line (BPL) card-holders aged above 60 will be eligible for the Danta Bhagya scheme.

The exact date of the launch of the scheme, dubbed the first of its kind in the country, will be finalised after discussions with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Khader said. The minister said as many as 45 private and government dental colleges across the State had been roped in to implement the scheme. Asha workers have been entrusted with the responsibility of identifying the beneficiaries and linking them to colleges for dental care. 

The workers would be paid an incentive of Rs 100 for enrolling each beneficiary. An identification card would be given to the beneficiaries and they can avail themselves of free dentures from the hospitals linked to the colleges by producing their age proof and BPL card, Khader said.

Dr Ganesh Shenoy Panchmal, chairman of the State government-constituted Oral Health Policy Committee, said it normally took Rs 8,000 to Rs 20,000 for getting dentures fixed in private clinics. Under the Danta Bhagya scheme, dental colleges had agreed to provide postgraduate students studying in their institutions to attend to senior citizens. The government will bear the actual cost of dentures, which would be Rs 500, Khader said.

The minister said the government was also contemplating constituting a committee to come out with a “vision policy” on providing free eye care for the poor.

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