ANANTAPUR: Launching the ‘YSR Kanti Velugu’ in Anantapur on Thursday, marking the World Sight Day, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy said in the next three years all the 5.4 crore people in the State will be screened for eye problems, starting with students, and, wherever necessary, surgeries will be done free of cost.
Addressing a large gathering here, Jagan Mohan Reddy said health, education and agriculture are three top priority areas of his government and people will witness a visible change in the coming days in these sectors.
“Of the 5.4 crore population in our State, 2.12 crore are suffering from different types of eye-related problems. Eighty per cent of those problems can be solved by paying a little bit of attention. Unfortunately, the previous government failed in this regard. My government has decided to change it and launched ‘YSR Kanti Velugu’ at an outlay of Rs 560 crore though it’s not part of my party’s election manifesto, to bring a new light into the eyes of those suffering,” he said.
Elaborating the scheme, the Chief Minister said it will be taken up in six phases over the next three years and free testing and treatment will be provided to the entire population of the State. “The first two phases, starting today, will focus on schoolchildren. Till October 16, as many as 70,41,988 students in 62,489 schools will be screened for eye ailments and, those in need of advanced treatment, will be tested further at vision centres in the second phase from November 1 to December 31,” he said. From February 1, 2020, to January 31, 2020, mass community eye screening will be taken up in four phases lasting 6 months each, he added.
Bemoaning the neglect of the medical and health sector, especially 108 and 104 services during the previous government, the Chief Minister announced that 432 new 108 ambulances and 676 vehicles for 104 services will commence operation by March 2020.
Expressing concern over kidney diseases, he said super-speciality hospitals cum research centres are being set up at Palasa and Markapauram. Similarly, new government medical colleges are being set up at Markapuram, Piduguralla, Paderu, Machilipatnam, Vizianagaram, Eluru and Pulivendula.
“New Aarogyasri cards embedded with the facility to store medical history will be distributed from December 21. They will help people to avail themselves of medical services from any hospital. Efforts are being made to bring any treatment exceeding a cost of Rs 1,000 under Aarogyasri and, at the same time, the number of ailments treated under the health scheme has been enhanced to 1,200 from 1,000, which include dengue and malaria.
The number of aliments will be increased to 2,000 in a phased manner. From January 1, 2020, a pilot program will be launched in West Godavari district and from April 1, 2020, it will be extended to one district each month,” he said. Jagan said Aarogyasri card-holders can avail themselves of treatment in 150 superspeciality hospitals in Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai from November 1.
On the occasion, he also announced Rs 10,000 as monthly pension for thalassemia patients. People suffering from paralysis and three other types of diseases will be provided a monthly pension of Rs 5,000 to help them meet their medical needs.
To extend a helping hand to the poor who underwent an operation and need rest after surgery, the CM announced Rs 5,000 as financial aid for post-operative care and it will be implemented from December 1. Taking a dig at previous government for not clearing Aarogysri dues amounting to Rs 650 crore, Jagan said they have already cleared Rs 540 crore and the remaining amount will be cleared soon. He promised to improve the quality of treatment in Aarogysri network hospitals.
“We have all seen in what condition government hospitals are today. In the next two and a half years, from January 1 to June 2020, ‘Naadu - Nedu’ (yesterday and today) will be implemented. Revamp, repairs and modernisation will be taken up to change the face of the hospitals,” he said.