The state Health Department has decided to implement, as an experiment, a comprehensive health insurance scheme for the people of Patna district.
Confirming this, Health Minister Chandra Mohan Rai told the Hindustan Times that, to begin with, the insurance scheme would be launched on an experimental basis but if it proved to be a success, “we would extend it to other districts as well”.
The Minister said the scheme would cover people of all sections of society. “All residents of Patna district would get the benefit,” he said.
As regards the quantum of insurance, Rai said Health Department authorities were discussing the matter with various insurance companies. “We are optimistic that all aspects of scheme would be worked out in a couple of months’ time,” he said.
The Health Minister said Patna district had been selected for introduction of the health insurance project because it would be easier for the Health Department to monitor its working here.
Earlier, too, the department had announced that it had worked out a health insurance policy for the people of the whole State. However, the policy was shelved even before it could be formally announced because the Government was unable to arrange for the massive financial investment the scheme required. “We had approached the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for financial assistance but the Centre said it was in no position to bear the financial burden,” Rai said.
“Therefore, to begin with, we have decided to try out the scheme only in Patna district and that, too, only as an
experiment,” he added.
It may be mentioned here that the Union Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers is also contemplating a health insurance scheme for all BPL families in the country. At a meeting of the Pharmaceutical Advisory Forum (PAF) of the Ministry held at New Delhi on May 15, representatives of all the states were requested to give a feedback on the scheme.
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