Jawahar Mehta, 46, who suffers from chronic renal failure, has not spent a penny on his treatment for the past three months. Mehta has enrolled under the Rajiv Gandhi Jeevandayee Arogya Yojana (RGJY), the state insurance scheme with Lancelot Kidney Centre, Borivli (West).
Mehta, who holds a clerical job at the Borivli centre, would usually spend about Rs16,000 every month on dialysis, tests and other medications.
The insurance scheme, launched on June 2, provides cashless insurance for families whose income is less than Rs1 lakh per annum. The state has enrolled 18 dialysis centres with 483 patients registered till date in Mumbai alone.
“Around 4,000 people who fit into our scheme need dialysis. We are still in the process of enrolling new centres. Anyone with a ration card can avail of dialysis at these centres,” said K Venkatesham, chief executive officer, RGJY.
While RGJY earlier concentrated on enrolling hospitals, the people behind the scheme soon realised that for dialysis they need to enroll individual centres. “People prefer to go to dialysis centres close to their home. Only individual satellite centres would work,” said Dr Umesh Khanna, consultant nephrologist, Lancelot Kidney Centre. The scheme covers Rs1.5 lakh for each patient.
The scheme also covers families in Raigad, Amravati, Dhule, Gadchiroli, Nanded, and Solapur. “There are hardly any dialysis centres outside Mumbai. We are looking at public-private partnerships to develop dialysis centres. The aim of this scheme is that people should not be pushed to poverty because they are drained of finances owing to dialysis,” said Venkatesham.