July 29, 2010

A year on, 1.5 lakh people treated under TN state health insurance scheme

Six-year-old Sivabalan, who suffers from blood cancer, wants to be a doctor when he grows up. On Friday, when the little one was invited to meet chief minster M Karunanidhi at his chamber in the state secretariat to collect a memento given by the state health department to select patients who benefited from the Kalaignar State Health Insurance Scheme on its first anniversary, he said, "I haven't joined school yet. But I would go once my chemotherapy cycles are over."

Sivabalan, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a cancer of the white blood cells, when he was four, is one of the many beneficiaries of the scheme.

When the immature cancerous white blood cells multiplied in his body and crippled him, he was admitted under medical oncologist Dr P Guhan at the Ramakrishna Mission Hospital in Coimbatore. "We told Sivabalan's parents that there was a 80% chance of recovery if he underwent chemotherapy for 18 months. Since his father's monthly income was less than Rs 4,000, the hospital's trust sponsored his treatment for the first few months. For the last two times, his treatment has been sponsored under the state scheme. He will have more sessions under the scheme," Dr Guhan said.

The scheme was rolled out on June 23 last year after the state government signed an MoU with Star Health Insurance. Since then, smart cards have been issued to more than 1.33 crore families who belong to the low income group. The state has earmarked Rs 517.307 crores in the first year to families whose annual income is less than Rs 72,000 and to member's of the unorganised labour welfare boards. The treatment under the scheme is made available at more than 500 hospitals, both private and government, across the state for up to Rs 1 lakh.

"So far more than 1.5 lakh people have been treated at private and government hospitals under the scheme for various ailments," health secretary V K Subburaj said.

Apart from Sivabalan, more than 15 patients who had undergone surgeries of the heart, abdominal organs and bone repair, thanked the government for the insurance that allowed them to seek treatment in private hospitals. Doctors from several private hospitals including Sri Ramachandra University, Lifeline, Chettinad Hospital and Billroth Hospital in the Chennai, Ganga Hospitals in Coimbatore, Cancer Institute in Erode and Narayana Hrudayalaya in Bangalore were given certificates of appreciation.

Link: Original Article

1 comment:

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