Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Tuesday directed the health department to “closely examine” the full-fledged roll out of the Arogya Karnataka universal health coverage scheme across the state.
Additional Chief Secretary (Health & Family Welfare) Ajay Seth was also asked to look into the modalities of converging the Arogya Karnataka scheme with the Yeshasvini health scheme and report in the next Cabinet meeting.
The Arogya Karnataka, which the previous Congress government launched in March 2018, will cover 1.43 crore families. Ten major hospitals, including Sri Jayadeva Institute and K C General Hospital in Bengaluru, have been chosen for its roll out in the first phase.
“The Arogya Karnataka scheme requires patients to first approach government hospitals for secondary treatment.
“Patients can go to an empanelled private hospital by a referral of the government hospital which is not equipped to carry out a procedure. Not all government hospitals are equipped or have specialists. So, we urged the chief minister to allow patients, at least for deliveries, to have the choice of availing treatment in an empanelled private hospital,” Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research director Dr C N Manjunath, who attended the meeting, said.
Launched in 2003, Yeshasvini was one of the largest self-funded healthcare schemes in India. As of now, the scheme covers 823 surgical procedures and applies to any person who is a member of a cooperative society. Each beneficiary is required to pay Rs 300 (rural) and Rs 710 (urban) every year.
The Yeshasvini scheme commences June 1 and ends May 31 every year.
The government is now thinking of extending the scheme till the time the Arogya Karnataka scheme is fully rolled out.
“We briefed the chief minister on the Yeshasvini scheme and how this entire thing (Arogya Karnataka) is being taken forward. Even the Centre’s National Health Protection Scheme came up during the discussion,” Seth said.
Besides Yeshasvini, the Arogya Karnataka will subsume other health schemes such as Vajpayee Arogyashree, Rajiv Arogya Bhagya Scheme, Rashtriya Swasthaya Bima Yojana, Rashtriya Bala Swasthaya Karyakram, Mukhyamantri Santwana Harish Scheme, Indira Suraksha Yojane and Cochlear Implant Scheme. Arogya Karnataka is estimated to cost about Rs 2,000 crore.