Govt health scheme not good enough for heart treatments
The one-month-old state health insurance scheme, which promises quality treatment to low-income families, may not provide the best treatment to patients with heart blockages.mumbai Updated: Aug 06, 2012 01:06 IST
The one-month-old state health insurance scheme, which promises quality treatment to low-income families, may not provide the best treatment to patients with heart blockages.
According to city cardiologists, the Rajiv Gandhi Jeevandayi Yojana (RGJY) covers angioplasty procedures using non-medicated stents instead of the medicated stents preferred worldwide.
While the scheme that was launched on July 1 does not specify the type of stents, cardiologists said the sanctioned monetary package makes it unaffordable for hospitals to use medicated stents. The chances of a blockage recurring after angioplasty using medicated stents is as low as 5% to 7%, but 25%-30% when non-medicated stents are used.
Last week, city cardiologists met state health ministry officials to discuss the limitations of non-medicated stents.
Till date, the state-run JJ Hospital, Byculla, has not performed a single angioplasty procedure under the scheme.
“The government price for medicated stents is significantly higher than what is approved under the scheme. It would be unfair to do a ‘poor man’s job’ for a poor patient because the scheme does not allow the best available treatment,” said Dr NO Bansal, head of cardiology department, JJ Hospital.