August 07, 2007

Health cards for 1.80 crore families in AP

The Andhra Pradesh State Government has decided to issue health cards to 1.80 crore below poverty line families that enables the beneficiaries to utilise medical facilities in speciality hospitals up to a sum of Rs. 2 lakh at Government cost.

Health cards would be issued under the ‘Arogyasri’ health insurance scheme.

This is the first scheme of its kind in the country that aims at helping the poor people in getting costly treatment for cancer, heart problems, renal and neurological disorders.

They could also go in for surgery for burns above 30 per cent, treating deaf and dumbness and blood transfusion, according to a press note issued from the Chief Minister’s Office.

Dr. Reddy said that diagnostic tests would be part of the scheme that is being made available through network hospitals identified by the Government.

The health card contains the details of the family members, their photographs, white ration card, information about eight ailments and toll free number.

The cardholder and their family members can walk into the network hospitals and avail free treatment, he added.

Arogyasri scheme is presently being implemented in Srikakulam, Anantapur and Mahabubnagar districts, where 86-lakh people have been benefitted and 3,300 surgeries performed at a cost of Rs. 18 crores in 69 network hospitals. A sum of Rs. 70 crore has been earmarked for Arogyasri.

The health insurance scheme would be extended to the remaining districts in phased manner. By November next year, all the districts would come under the Arogyasri coverage. Once the scheme is extended to the entire State, the number of network hospitals would run into hundreds, Dr. Reddy said and added that this was not a short term programme but a permanent one.

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