THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Pregnant women belonging to the BPL category are being hoodwinked into paying for the treatment which is to be provided free of cost to them and the culprit is none other than the state government.
Under Central Government’s Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram (JSSK) pregnant women who come under the Below Poverty Line (BPL) category are to be provided free treatment.
The state government, however, has been taking them for a ride by making them pay for the treatment from their Rashtriya Swasthaya Bima Yojana (RSBY) programme.
Instead of providing either one of the schemes, a majority of the public sector Women and Children hospitals include both the schemes for the treatment.
In the case sheet one can see the seal of both Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram and Rashtriya Swasthaya Bima Yojana, this points towards the fact that these pregnant women are being charged even when there is a provision for free treatment.
Though the government is aware that the poor patients are being taken for a ride, it has come to fore that instructions have been given to the hospitals to adhere to the policy of utilising both the facilities until a decision is taken.
It is learnt that the government had instructed the hospital superintendents to include both the programmes as it was found that only 30 per cent of the RSBY card holders were availing themselves of the scheme, this means that the government’s share in RSBY premium is getting wasted and the company is making gains.
As per the Rashtriya Swasthaya Bima Yojan scheme, an amount of `5,000 and `6,000 is deducted for normal and Caesarian deliveries respectively from the insured amount.
Most of the poor patients are not aware that they can get free treatment as per the JSSK scheme.
The patients realise that a certain amount has been deducted from their RSBY card for the treatment availed of only when they go to other hospitals.
When contacted, Health Minister V S Sivakumar said that he was not aware of the issue and added that it would be looked into with all its seriousness.
Dr Jose G D’Cruz, superintendent of Women and Children Hospital at Thycaud here said that instructions have been received from the district health officials that the status quo should continue till further orders are given. He was of the opinion that no one can claim two insurances at the same time.
As per the JSSK scheme, the hospital gets `1,650 for normal delivery and `3,300 for Caesarian.
However, most of the Government Women and Children Hospitals are finding it hard to provide the facilities with the amount that is got through the Central scheme.
Some doctors have pointed out that it would be difficult if both the schemes are not utilised. The amount from the RSBY can be utilised for the development of the hospital, they said and added that it would only add to the quality of the treatment.
JSSK scheme includes free delivery/ C-Section, free treatment of sick new-born up to 30 days, free drugs and consumables, free diagnostics, free diet during stay in the health institutions and free transport from home to health institutions.
Beneficiaries under RSBY are entitled to hospitalisation coverage up to `30,000 and the coverage extends to five members of the family.