Road accident victims could soon get free treatment for three days at 488 private hospitals across the state, as the Maharashtra government is mulling a scheme on the lines of one in Tamil Nadu. This will be part of a big revamp the state has planned for its flagship Rajiv Gandhi Jeevandayi Arogya Yojana (RGJAY), state public health minister Dr Deepak Sawant said in the legislative council on Thursday.
Under the proposed scheme, road accident victims won’t need to pay for the first three days of treatment when admitted to private hospitals after an accident. The government said the scheme is aimed at reducing fatalities, as victims are usually taken to government hospitals, where treatment is free, but are far away from the accident spot.
We are planning to launch a same scheme on the lines of one in Tamil Nadu under the RGJAY,” Sawant told the Upper House while replying to a debate over the poor health services in the state’s rural areas.
Under RGJAY, poor patients receive treated at private hospitals for specific ailments or surgeries and the state bears the cost. The RGJAY also facilitates treatment at 488 government-empanelled private hospitals for 971 types of diseases, surgeries and therapies.
Sawant, while replying to queries from legislators, said the government is in the process of revamping the RGJAY scheme and changes will be made to it based on the response the government has got so far. It will drop 113 surgeries that RGJAY used to cover, as there aren’t many takers. Instead, some new medical procedures will be incorporated.
Sawant also admitted that posts of doctors are lying vacant, as many do not want to take up rural posting. Only 151 specialised doctors are serving right now in rural areas, of 512 posts, he said.
The state has 16 government medical colleges from which nearly 3500 students pass out every year. But many of them don’t want to pursue post-graduation studies and some others even break government bonds for taking up private practice, the minister added.