State universal healthcare: inadequate old schemes in new avatar

State universal healthcare: inadequate old schemes in new avatar

Days, after the state government launched the Arogya Karnataka universal healthcare scheme, doctors and health activists, point out that it contains nothing new.

While appearing similar to the Arogyashree and Yeshaswini schemes, Arogya Karnataka also has the same beneficiaries, said Dr C N Manjunath, director, Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research.

Besides concessions on payment, the scheme appears to offer no coverage for surgeries or expensive equipment, some of which costs as much as Rs 4 lakh. It only covers a family of four up to Rs 1.5 lakh and an additional Rs 50,000, if needed.

The requirement of a referral letter before approaching a private hospital could also cause considerable trouble to patients, especially if they have to undergo secondary procedures like a Cesarean section.

"All our beds are full. Patients are waiting in queue for appointments," Dr Manjunath said, explaining on how delays could hurt patients.

The Karnataka Janorogya Chaluvali, an NGO that works on various health issues in the state, said the scheme continues to be a card-based entitlement as it makes Aadhaar mandatory for those wanting to enroll.

Also, the scheme focuses on selected surgical procedures, while not considering long-term and non-surgical ailments that need medical management, the organisation said.

"The scheme has brought a lot of focus on government hospitals, but shortage of doctors in those hospitals are a matter of concern that needs to be taken care of," said Dr Alexander Thomas, executive director, Association of Healthcare Providers of India (AHPI).

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry