Mumbai : The Maharashtra government Friday gave the green signal for implementation of the ambitious Rajiv Gandhi Lifesaving Health Scheme, which is expected to benefit over 20 million poor people providing them health insurance, officials said.
Maharashtra becomes the second state in the country after Andhra Pradesh to implement RGLHS, said an official from the chief minister’s office.
The first phase of RGLHS will be implemented in eight districts – Mumbai, Mumbai Suburban District, Raigad, Nanded, Dhule, Sholapur, Gadchiroli and Amravati – from September.
At a high-level meeting here Friday afternoon, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan issued orders to forthwith initiate all administrative measures, including issuing identity cards to the beneficiaries, to implement the project all over the state by April 2012.
The RGLHS will enable poor people – both below and above the poverty line – get critical health treatment for around 972 surgical procedures identified in the scheme.
Elaborating the benefits of RGLHS, Health Minister Suresh Shetty said that the state government would pay the health insurance premium to insurance companies on behalf of the targeted poor people.
“Each such beneficiary family would be entitled to avail free medical treatment up to Rs.1.50 lakh per annum. Those patients with old complaints of diseases would also be included as beneficiaries in the scheme,” he said.
The major diseases/illnesses and surgical procedures covered under this scheme would include cardiac, renal, brain and nervous system disorders, cancer and other health problems.
Incidentally, the erstwhile Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party government had launched Jeevandayi Yojana offering a similar facility for half a dozen major diseases and surgeries.
However, on account of income and other restrictions, its benefit reached a very small section of the poor population. Later, the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party rechristened it as the Rajiv Gandhi Jeevandayi Arogya Yojana (Rajiv Gandhi Lifesaving Health Scheme).
A large number of public, private and charitable hospitals and nursing shall be included all over the state to implement RGLHS, the official said.