The Political Fuss Over The Insurance-Based Model Of Health Care In Rajasthan

Civil society groups have asked Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje to reconsider the decision about the proposed insurance-based model of health care for people covered under the National Food Security Act, as this would compromise and sideline the successful free schemes of diagnostics and medicines in practice.

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    In a statement released by Jan Swasthya Abhiyan department, the officials said;

    “With the improving economic and social status of the people, today medical practitioners administer non-compliant treatment and procedures. But, with the introduction of the insurance-based model of health care, the presence of several unregulated private clinics will be clipped, leading to easy access of health care services even to the poorer sections of our society.”

    However, the government model that is being proposed is also expected to be more expensive than that the existing one.

    The government has proposed that the new scheme will be launched in April 2015 under the National Food Security Act, providing a robust cover of an amount ranging from Rs. 30,000-Rs 50,000 in case of minor ailments, and an amount of Rs. 3 Lakhs for people suffering from serious ailments. This new scheme will reduce the strain on the districts and medical hospitals by sharing the responsibility with the private sector.

    The officials at the Jan Swasthya Abhiyan have doubts as they think this scheme is too good to be true. And, a deeper analysis of the scheme may turn futile in Rajasthan. The department further claims that the private sector in order to increase the claims would prescribe unnecessary medication and surgical procedures, with patients being the prime victims. The proof of their doubt lies in the alarming number of Caesarian sections done in the private sector in the recent times.

    Caught amidst political debate the fate of this policy and the fact that the bebefits percolate to the needy, is yet to be seen.

    (Source: This article has been adapted from the article "Activists oppose health insurance scheme" that appeared on February 15, 2015  in thehindu.com.)

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