Women health cards to ensure free cancer screenings

Once cleared, the health ministry will have to prepare an implementing strategy to roll out aadhar linked health cards for women.

Published: 13th July 2017 07:47 PM  |   Last Updated: 13th July 2017 08:02 PM   |  A+A-

Image used for representational purpose only. (File Photo | Reuters)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The centre is all set to issue aadhar linked women health cards to all women in the country that will ensure free annual health check up especially screening for cancer that is rising at an alarming rate.    

The policy has been given a go ahead as part of action points to national policy for women by Group of Ministers (GoM) headed by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj Wednesday. It is slated to be passed by the cabinet soon.

Once cleared, the health ministry will have to prepare an implementing strategy to roll out aadhar linked health cards for women. The budget estimates for providing such service to nearly 50 percent of country’s population will have to be worked out in months to come.

The idea was proposed by Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi. The minister has been pitching for it and had taken up the matter with her cabinet colleague and Health Minister J P Nadda. Finally, it was decided to include it in the national women policy.

The scheme will ensure free screening in primary health centres and other government hospitals for some life threatening diseases like breast cancer, ovarian cancer and oral cancer among others.  

According to the National Cancer Registry, breast cancer is the most common and cervical cancer as the second most common cancer in women in India.

“The minister was very passionate about the free health cards for women. As few women in the country irrespective of social or economical background choose for annual health screening. In case of cancer or even other life threatening diseases, regular health screening is the key to prevention,” said a senior official of women and child development ministry.

The national women policy has been prepared by the centre after a gap of 15 years and an exhaustive exercise, including crowd sourcing of 15,000 ideas, was done before the final draft was sent to GoM for discussion by various ministries.

Of the 15,000 ideas received following the draft policy was put online, ministry has zeroed on 150 action points that have become part of the policy.

The ideas range from free waiver for women in all competitive exams, women becoming 50 percent of workforce by 2030, all educational centres having hostels for women, working women hostels in all cities where women come in large numbers for employment and free education, including  college, for all girls in below poverty line category among others.

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