Providing healthcare facilities
Providing healthcare facilities for the poor have been always a point of discussion in a place like Jammu and Kashmir. The state has a major chunk of population that cannot afford to spend money on availing healthcare facilities. People living in cities as well as those living in far off areas have been demanding for better and affordable healthcare facilities, which have though been eluding them.
Healthcare facilities for the common man have been proving to be a nightmare. Even in government run hospitals in the state people have to cough up money for all the facilities that are provided to them.
The inpatients in all the state run hospitals are made to pay for every facility that is provided to them. This includes diagnostics as well as other surgical goods and medicines that are required by the patients.
In such a scenario where shall a person put his trust and faith who does not have the money to spend in hospitals that are managed by the government itself. This question has hopefully got an answer in the form of the ‘golden cards’ scheme under the Ayushman Bharat scheme.
Ayushman Bharat scheme provides an annual health cover of Rs 5 lakh per family. This scheme has been announced by the Union government to provide relief to the lower strata of the society whose income levels are not that satisfactory to avail healthcare facilities even in government run hospitals.
There are 6.30 lakh poor and vulnerable families entitled for health cover under the Ayushman Bharat scheme in the state as per the Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC).
Under the scheme, patients can get free treatment in the empanelled government or private hospitals.
As many as 127 government and private hospitals are empanelled under the scheme in the state. The beneficiary of the government health scheme have to produce the ‘golden card’ at hospitals to avail benefits.
It is a welcome step that the state government has set a target of issuing ‘golden cards’ to 55 per cent of the 6.30 lakh eligible persons in the state by August 31.
Presently, 37 per cent eligible individuals have been issued ‘golden cards’ and 25,000 of these beneficiaries have already availed benefits of free medical treatment under the scheme in various government and private hospitals.
The scheme however, has escaped the attention of those who are entitled for the benefits that have been promised to them by the government. The state administration therefore has the responsibility of reaching out to the people who need to be covered under this scheme.
One such measure can be using the grass root level outreach mechanism which includes involving local bodies to get these schemes propagated so as to reach the target audience. The next step can be involving field health workers to create awareness about such schemes among the people for whom the benefits have been kept reserved.