National health insurance prog: Harried beneficiaries face software glitch

  • Jatinder Kohli, Hindustan Times, Jalandhar
  • Updated: May 06, 2016 16:24 IST
As many as 2.32 lakh beneficiaries are registered under this centrally sponsored programme in the state and 9,938 are enrolled in Jalandhar.

Card holders of the national-level health insurance programme — Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) — belonging to weaker sections of society are not able to operate their smart health cards as the “patch”, a piece of software designed to update a computer programme or its supporting data, to fix or improve it, has not been done.

The contract with the insurance company has also not been extended, depriving the beneficiaries of cashless health services.

As many as 2.32 lakh beneficiaries are registered under this centrally sponsored programme in the state and 9,938 are enrolled in Jalandhar.

To overcome the problem, the health department has asked district-level officials to email the service provider for issuance of a unique code so the treatment charges under the cashless scheme can be reimbursed.

The beneficiaries are provided free treatment up to `30,000 annually, including expenses of hospitalisation along with medical or surgical procedures. The surgical treatment, including maternity benefits and health services related to surgical nature, are also provided.

Under the scheme, Haemodialysis, paternal cameo therapy, radiotherapy, eye surgery, lithotripsy (kidney stone removal), tonsillectomy, dental surgery following accident, surgery of hydrocele, surgery of prostrate, gastrointestinal surgeries, genital surgery, surgery of nose, throat, ear and urinary system, treatment of fractures or dislocation, contracture releases, and minor reconstructive procedures of limbs that otherwise require hospitalization, laparoscopic therapeutic surgeries, identified surgeries under general anaesthesia or any other disease mutually agreed upon are covered.

A senior official said that since 2014, this scheme had been extended for three to six months and its last deadline expired on March 31 this year.

He said as the department had failed to decide on the extension, the software had not been upgraded.

As per the website of the department, Punjab Institute of Medical Science (PIMS), seven other private and 12 government hospitals are empanelled under this cashless scheme in Jalandhar where card holders can avail of the benefits.

Punjab Health System Corporation (PHSC) managing director Hussan Lal said the department had issued the work order to Reliance and the software would be updated soon.

“We have also instructed all civil surgeons to send information about claims to the company through an email and none of the beneficiaries can be denied cashless treatment. If any beneficiary is facing problems, he/she can contact local officials,” said Lal.

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