HindustanTimes Fri,19 Dec 2014

Health cover scheme for poor gets popular, but card issuing becomes a hurdle

Harshraj Singh, Hindustan Times  Ludhiana, December 30, 2013
First Published: 19:30 IST(30/12/2013) | Last Updated: 19:37 IST(30/12/2013)

Though the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) (National Health Insurance Programme) for poor people is gaining popularity, but some persons belonging to weaker section of the society are not able to avail its benefit. The reason is their names are not available in the data collected in 2002 due to which non-renewal of their cards has left beneficiaries in the lurch. The cards are being issued and renewed at Lord Mahavira Civil Hospital, Ludhiana.


The scheme is for people living under below poverty line. By paying Rs. 30, this health insurance provides free treatment up to Rs. 30,000 per year per BPL family. But the health department has the data that was collected during a survey conducted around 11 years ago.

Bimla Devi, a visitor to the civil hospital, said, “My income is very low that I cannot afford the treatment. When I went to get a scheme card, the official concerned said my name is not in the list. I earn Rs. 2,000 per month by doing cleaning work in homes. The government should conduct a new survey so that our names could be included in the scheme.”

Besides, people, who earlier had this scheme cards, but could not get the renewed cards, as their names were also missing from the stored data.

Ashok Kumar, a resident of Habib Ganj, said, “Earlier, I had the scheme card, but it has not been renewed, as a machine operator, who was making new cards told me that my name was not in the stored data.”

Dr Jasvir Singh, deputy medical commissioner, Ludhiana, said, “Poor people who could not get the insurance card, they would be covered under Bhagat Puran Singh Sehat Beema Yojana (BPSSBY). The state government is making new blue cards for poor people who can get health insurance under BPSSBY for free medical treatment.”

“If any person is facing problem to get renewed RSBY card, they can meet me, and smart cards will be issued to them,” Singh said.

He said 16,500 RSBY smart cards have been issued to the people in the district from 2008 (when the scheme started) till now.

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