Citizens to get health care cards | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Citizens to get health care cards

mumbai Updated: Apr 02, 2010 02:12 IST

More than 11 crore people will get health care cards in three to four years under a health insurance card system, the government said on Thursday.

The cashless and paperless scheme is a renewed version of the Rajiv Gandhi Jivandayee Yojna.

Public Health Minister, Suresh Shetty, told the Assembly that health cards will give patients access to more than 300 medical procedures at government and listed private hospitals free of cost.

People below the poverty line will be given these cards for free and those above the poverty line will have to pay a small amount. Others will have to pay a premium for the card.

“Beneficiaries will get treatment, post-recovery [expenses] for 10 days and the money to travel back home,” said Shetty. “Patients will have the freedom to choose hospitals after a panel of government doctors decides the treatment.” The system is based on the one being implemented in Andhra Pradesh. Maharashtra plans to implement the scheme in six districts first and extend it to others later.

Shetty also said ambulance services will be put in place in rural areas. “Ambulances will have equipment and trained paramedics.” The state also plans to introduce a transparent medicine purchase scheme to stem corruption. A high-level committee will probe charges of corruption in procuring medicines, Shetty said.

The state will outsource house keeping and catering in hospitals.