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HindustanTimes Wed,23 Apr 2014

HIV/AIDS patients will soon have health cover

Harish V Nair, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 02, 2013
First Published: 00:12 IST(2/3/2013) | Last Updated: 00:14 IST(2/3/2013)

People suffering from HIV/AIDS will soon have health insurance cover.

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The Delhi government and the Centre, while responding to a public interest litigation on the absence of insurance cover for such patients, informed the Delhi High Court that the health ministry had on September 26, 2012, set up a 15-member working group to give technical support and draft guidelines to provide health insurance to those afflicted with HIV/AIDS. The court asked the ministry to complete the process in six months.

The Centre said the "Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) has also made a draft to provide insurance cover to persons living with HIV and people vulnerable to HIV/AIDS under health insurance policies of life and non-life insurance companies".

A bench headed by Chief Justice D Murugesan, disposing of the litigation filed by a doctor Rajeev Sharma, asked the Centre to take a decision  in six months. "The working group set up by the health ministry is expected to perform the job assigned to it as expeditiously as possible but in any case within six months from today (sic)," the court said.

Several NGOs working for such patients, including the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, have been urging the Union health ministry to provide insurance cover to people affected by HIV/AIDS.

Currently, HIV is not covered under any insurance policy in India, violating the national mandate of providing stigma-free care and support services.

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