Rajiv Gandhi Health Scheme to Cover Maharashtra
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Maharashtra Government today said that the entire state will soon be covered under the ambitious Rajiv Gandhi Jeevandayi Health Scheme by August this year.

Health Minister Suresh Shetty admitted in the Legislative Assembly that implementation of the scheme which envisages providing health cards to the poor has been delayed.

Eight districts are being covered in the first phase of the scheme, he said.

"In Amravati district, out of 4.15 lakh cards, 2.3 lakh cards have already been distributed. There are problems of logistics especially in Mumbai. There is no staff in the collectors' office and hence services of rationing department personnel are being used. As many as 2.4 crore cards with photographs have to be printed out which 40 lakh cards are for eight districts in the first phase," Shetty said, adding that the scheme is paperless and cashless.

Software, servers etc are required for which tenders are issued. As many as 400 people are required in the call centres. The centres receive 3000 calls a day and patients do get response, he said.

Shetty said in eight districts, 108 hospitals have been empanelled out of which 23 are government and 60 private hospitals.

The minister further said that each hospital has to provide 50 beds, except Gadchiroli with 30 beds, with ICUs for the poor under the scheme.

Subhash Desai (Shiv Sena) asked the government to take the legislators into confidence and hand over the work of distribution of cards to them.

"It is sad that you trust rationing officials more than us," he said.

Shetty told the House that top Mumbai hospitals like Jaslok, Leelavati to name a few, have refused to implement the Jeevandayi scheme.

"According to them (hospitals), the government should waive off the charity commissioner's condition of reserving 10 per cent of the beds for poor," Shetty said.

The hospitals have said that it is not possible for them to implement both the charity commissioner’s condition and the Jeevandayi Scheme which provides for treatment of 972 procedures for the poor people.

"I have apprised the chief minister and deputy chief minister on this issue," he added.

Rajiv Gandhi Jeevandayee Arogya Yojana (RGJAY) has been launched by the Maharashtra government in order to improve medical access facility for both Below Poverty Line (BPL - Yellow card holders) and Above Poverty Line (APL- orange card holders) families.
Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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