BENGALURU:The Karnataka High Court has issued a notice to the health department and has given time till June 11 to respond with respect to the department subsuming Yeshasvini scheme into Arogya Karnataka that entitled farmers and his family members to get specialised healthcare at hospitals — both government and private. Now, with Arogya Karnataka being rolled out from June 30, the Yeshasvini scheme will be withdrawn and as per conditions of Arogya Karnataka, the above poverty line beneficiaries will have to pay 70 per cent of the treatment costs.
On Tuesday, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy also discussed with senior officials of health department regarding Yeshasvini Scheme and directed Ajay Seth, Additional Chief Secretary (Health) to closely examine both the schemes in order to give more benefits to the poor and present it in the next cabinet meeting.But Kodihalli Chandrashekhar, president, Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha, said, "Farmers groups met the CM and he has assured us that Yeshasvini will not be rolled back."
Dr N Devadasan, Director, Institute of Public Health, said, "In Yeshasvini scheme, farmers had to pay a premium and they would get only surgical treatment. In Arogya Karnataka, they are getting everything — medical and surgical treatment. Now that they are being asked to pay 70 per cent because they are not below poverty line, it will naturally affect them. My understanding is that most farmers have a BPL card, it is only the large farmers who will suffer who can probably pay that 70 per cent."
Akhila Vasan, convener, Karnataka Janarogya Chaluvali, said, "What happens to above poverty line farmers? Yeshasvini is premium-based, Arogya Karnataka is not. Farmers and their families used to pay `300 per person per year as premium. If they can insist that all Yeshasvini card holders should be eligible for free treatment under Arogya Karnataka, then they would not have any problem."