Medical assistance scheme for poor a failure in J&K

Only 15 patients benefited at five tertiary care hospitals associated with GMC Jmu, Sgr

Srinagar: The prestigious medical assistance scheme Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi which can provide financial assistance up to Rs 15 lakh has been unsuccessful in benefiting poor patients in Jammu and Kashmir.
According to the official data, the major tertiary care hospitals of J&K have failed to recommend names of poor patients for free medical aid from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare under the umbrella scheme Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi (RAN).
Only 15 patients have availed the financial assistance under Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi (RAN) at five government medical college hospitals of Jammu and Srinagar during last three years, as per the figures released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.
The hospital-wise details of patients benefited under Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi (RAN) say that GB Pant Children Hospital and SMHS Hospital in Srinagar have referred only one patient each under RAN since 2016. Similarly, SMGS Hospital Jammu has referred five patients in three years and GMC Jammu has referred eight patients for financial assistance during the same period.
The data says that only Sher-i Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, Soura in Srinagar has referred considerable number of patients to receive medical aid under RAN.
The medical institute has recommended 189 cases of poor patients in last three years for the free aid under RAN.
Financial Commissioner, Atal Dulloo admitted that the scheme was running poorly in J&K.
“The health department is now seriously pondering upon the implementation of schemes like RAN which has been running poorly in J&K previously,” he said adding that the department will also push the tertiary care hospitals to improve upon the functioning of such schemes so that people can be benefited.
Under RAN the ministry provides financial assistance for treatment of poor patients suffering from identified life threatening diseases and taking treatment in government hospitals. The financial assistance is provided to patients belonging to families living below State/UT-wise threshold poverty lines and who are suffering from major life threatening diseases/cancer/rare diseases, to receive medical treatment at Government hospitals.
“Financial assistance up to Rs 15 lakh is provided for eligible patients in the form of ‘one-time grant’ to the Medical Superintendent of the Government hospital where the treatment is being received,” said the guidelines of the scheme.
“It scheme has three components, namely (i) Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi (RAN) – to provide financial assistance to patients suffering from life threatening diseases other than Cancer, (ii) Health Minister’s Cancer Patients Fund (HMCPF) – to provide financial assistance to patients suffering from Cancer; and (iii) Scheme for financial assistance for patients suffering from specified rare diseases.”

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