HC notice to govt over closure of health scheme

HC notice to govt over closure of health scheme

DH file photo for representation.

The High Court of Karnataka on Tuesday issued emergent notice to Yeshasvini Cooperative Health Care Trust and also issued notice to the state government while hearing a petition challenging the withdrawal of the Yeshaswini healthcare scheme with effect from May 31.

Justice Aravind Kumar was hearing a petition filed by Vidyasagar T R, president of Karnataka State Farmers’ Association and Mahadevi Jatti, a member of Prathamika Krishi Cooperative Society who have moved the high court seeking directions to quash the government order regarding withdrawal of the scheme.

The petitioners who are beneficiaries of the scheme have contended that the scheme enabled the beneficiary to avail of specialised healthcare facilities at a subsidised cost on payment of an annual contribution. The facilities could be availed of from a network of government and private hospitals recognised by the trust/scheme.

The petitioners state that the government had introduced the Yeshasvini Scheme with an intention to provide adequate and affordable healthcare to the farmers at speciality hospitals. The scheme was an evolved health insurance scheme, which was initially extended to the farmers of the state .

Any farmer or his family members who were a member of a cooperative society could avail of the scheme by making a stipulated annual contribution. The scheme was initially introduced as ‘Yeshasvini Co-operative Farmers Health Care Scheme’ in 2002.

However, from 2014, the said scheme was also made available to residents of urban areas who were members of a cooperative society.

The petitioners also state that the Yeshasvini healthcare scheme has been the most successful health scheme as compared to any other health scheme of the state government.

But, now following the withdrawal of the scheme, the government is set to unify all the healthcare schemes and introduce the ‘Arogya Karnataka Scheme’ which does not provide access to facilities at a subsidised cost but merely entitles a beneficiary to avail of healthcare facilities by paying 70% to 80% of the specified cost of the said facility. The court also directed the respondents to file their objections and adjourned the hearing of the matter to June 11.

The petitioners have also stated that there has been no response from the state government despite various representations made by the petitioners to reconsider the withdrawal of the Yeshasvini scheme.

The court asked the respondents to file their objections in this regard and adjourned the matter for hearing to June 6.