SCTIMST-Thiruvananthapuram to provide free care under KASP scheme

The premier institute was earlier kept away from the Ayushman Bharat - KASP empanelment due to issues over cost of treatments
Sree Chitra Thirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology in Thiruvananthapuram. (Photo| EPS)
Sree Chitra Thirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology in Thiruvananthapuram. (Photo| EPS)

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Sree Chitra Thirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST) is set to provide free treatment to the beneficiaries of Ayushman Bhara t- Karunya Arogya Suraksha Padhathi (KASP) from the second week of April.

It is the first time that the autonomous health institution under the Central government is joining the health care scheme since its inception almost three years ago. The State Health Agency (SHA) has empanelled SCTIMST in the list of hospitals providing treatment under the scheme.

As a result, around 20 lakh poor and vulnerable families will be eligible to get free and advanced treatment in cardiology and neurology at the institute. A family eligible under the scheme will get treatment worth `5 lakh.

The SHA will set up a kiosk at SCTIMST to facilitate the implementation of KASP. It will train the staff in the free treatment and procedure of KASP. The beneficiaries can visit the kiosk to avail themselves of the facility.

Health Minister Veena George said the government has been trying for a long time to include SCTIMST under KASP. There are 650 hospitals, including 198 in the government and 452 in the private sector under the scheme. There are 148 hospitals empanelled for exclusive Covid care.

SCTIMST was part of the state government’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme (CHIS) Plus scheme, a health scheme that existed prior to the formation of KASP. However, when the new scheme was formed, SCTIMST kept away from the empanelment as the rates of various treatments under KASP were not acceptable to it.

"Earlier there was confusion on covering the expenses. Signing the agreement for providing treatment under KASP would result in an additional burden of Rs 20 crore for SCTIMST. Fortunately, we could address the concerns this time," said a source.

SCTIMST will also be providing free treatment to patients who are not included in KASP through Karunya Benevolent Fund Scheme. The government had recently extended the scheme till March 31, 2023. Under the scheme, the financial assistance is available to APL and BPL people with an annual income of less than Rs 3 lakh. The financial aid for a family is Rs 2 lakh. Kidney transplant recipients will get Rs 3 lakh.

The SHA has provided free treatment worth Rs 1,473 crore to 5,27,117 beneficiaries in 2021-22. It received 16.13 lakh claims. The state spent Rs 1,334 crore, while it received Rs 139 crore aid from the Central government.

Wide coverage
Around 20 lakh poor families will be eligible to get free treatment in cardiology and neurology at the institute. A family eligible under the scheme will get treatment worth Rs 5 lakh.

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