Free cancer care for kids, insurance for poor in KeralaSeptember 30th, 2008 - 7:32 pm ICT by IANS
Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 30 (IANS) A new, free-of-cost insurance for 2.1 million families and free cancer care for all children below 16 years are among the slew of new schemes that will be launched soon, two Kerala ministers said here Tuesday.A joint press conference was addressed by state Health Minister P.K. Sreemathi and state Labour Minister P.K. Gurudasan.
“Rashtriya Swasthya Bheema Yojana is a plan of the central government and it is to be implemented in phases. We have instead decided to implement this in all the 14 districts of the state and the inauguration will take place on Oct 2,” said Gurudasan.
The plan envisages free medical insurance for a family of five up to a maximum limit of Rs.30,000 a year.
A smart card will be provided to each family and the plan is tenable across the country.
“The entire premium for the 21.79 lakh (2.1 million) families who fall in the below poverty line category will be borne by the state government and in this year’s budget a sum of Rs.40 crores (Rs.400 million) has been set aside,” said Gurudasan.
Of the 2.1 million families, the central government has identified 1.1 million families and the state government has identified another one million families who would get the benefit. The premium for each family comes to Rs.506.
United Indian Assurance Company will run the medical insurance scheme and it would be available in all government, cooperative and even select private hospitals across the state.
“We have decided to offer a free cancer treatment programme for all children below the age of 16. No other state in the country has this programme and for this we have created Rs.65 crores (Rs.650 million) by way of a corpus fund,” said Sreemathi.
He said to run this scheme, the Kerala Social Security Mission has ben set up and would liaison between the various hospitals providing cancer treatment for children.
“These hospitals will have to send the details of the treatment provided and the mission will allocate the required funds. This scheme will commence shortly and the scheme will be extended to children suffering from cancer and undergoing treatment now,” said Sreemathi.