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Home > News > PTI

Unique health cover plan for Delhi's poor

November 05, 2004 13:01 IST

A novel health insurance scheme will be launched soon by the government to cover more than three lakh people living below poverty line in the national capital.

The scheme would be funded through a corpus fund of Rs 400-500 crore by charging market rate from private hospitals which have been allotted land at concessional rate by the Delhi Development Authority and L&DO of the central government.

The scheme, a brainchild of Urban Development Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, was initiated after the ministry found that the Delhi's private hospitals, which were given land at concessional rates, were not adhering to the norm of providing 25 per cent free medical care facility to the poor.

The sources said some of the private hospitals had agreed to pay the differential money and the ministry plans to add that to the corpus fund.

The sources said the finer details of the scheme would be worked out with an insurance company. 

Those having a BPL card could be easily brought under the scheme and the premium of the insurance would be paid out of interest accruing on the corpus fund.

Broadly, a BPL family would be provided an insurance cover of nearly Rs 30,000 and Rs 25,000 in case of death due to accident. The sources said the interest on the corpus funds would also be utilised in providing healthcare to people under BPL category.

Azad said that there were allegations and representations from relevant quarters that no mechanism was practically in place to monitor whether the poor patients were actually being treated or not.

"How does one monitor whether 25 per cent people are treated and what is the mechanism for verifying the same? If one thinks practically, there has been none. Our effort is only to ensure that poor are actually benefitted," Azad said without sharing the details of the scheme.

The scheme could be adopted by other states as well to give a practical shape to programmes of benefitting poor people, he added.

The sources said the scheme was initiated because any cancellation of land allotted to hospitals would adversely affect the overall provision of health care facilities in the national capital.

Azad said his ministry would not confine this to private hospitals only and a similar scheme for about 800 private schools in the national capital would also be launched soon so that better education facilities were provided to the economically weaker sections.

"We will not allow anyone to make money in the name of the poor," Azad added.

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