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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2704

Azad launches TN health insurance scheme for poor

From S Murari, Chennai

Chennai, 24 July ( Asiantribune.com): Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Thursday launched the Tamil Nadu Government's health insurance scheme for the poorest of the poor with a call to use the insurance money to upgrade services in government hospitals and "incentivize medical and paramedical staff in such institutions".

Inaugurating the scheme named after Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, Mr Azad said: "Ultimately, the success of any intervention has to be seen by the Gandhian talisman of the last man in the line. If the Kalaignar Insurance Scheme for Life Saving Treatment reduces the out-of-pocket expenditure of our poor households and ensures quality health services for them, it would have alleviated the pauperization of poor households as health expenses are one of the leading cause for families remaining poor".

MR Azad said that given the high cost of hospitalized care, cashless health insurance for the below poverty line population becomes an imperative. The National Rural Health Mission had developed five different models of health insurance to provide cashless hospitalized services to the poor. The Central Government had already initiated a scheme through the Ministry of Labor to provide cashless hospitalized treatment up to Rs.30,000 for families below the poverty line Government and private hospitals."I am sure even in Tamil Nadu, a large number of government and private hospitals will come forward to participate in the programme", he said.

The Minister said Tamil Nadu had implemented the National Rural Health Mission in letter and spirit. "All primary health centres of Tamil Nadu had been provided three Staff Nurses under the NRHM and the efficient and imaginative use of the large untied funds under the mission have transformed the quality of services in Tamil Nadu's PHCs".

The efforts had been so outstanding that women in this State had started coming to PHCs in large numbers for their institutional deliveries. Private sector deliveries "have come down by nearly five percentage points" while deliveries in PHCs had gone up by 12 per cent.

"The National Rural Health Mission is committed to such efforts for ensuring accessible, affordable and accountable health services to the people in the remotest corners of India", he said.

Mr Karunanidhi announced that after his life time and that of his wife, his Gopalapuram residence should be converted into a hospital for the poor. He had already got the consent of his children for this, Mr Karunanidhi said.

- Asian Tribune -

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