In a move to ensure ‘quality health for all,’ Delhi Lieutenant governor Anil Baijal gave his approval to a government scheme helping Delhi residents get high-end diagnostic (radiological) tests and surgeries completely free of cost in private hospitals –
if the patient’s treatment gets delayed in government medical institutions.
Under this scheme, the Delhi government is allowing 52 specified surgeries, free of cost, at private hospitals in Delhi/NCR. These include heart bypass, cataract surgery and 17 types of kidney surgeries.
“There is no income limit for residents of Delhi, who are allotted a date of surgery after 30 days of diagnosis at one of the 24 specified government hospitals to avail the scheme,” the statement by the Delhi Government reads.
To avail of the scheme, the patients have to show their Aadhaar cards, voter ID or driving license as residential proof in Delhi.
The scheme was first passed by the AAP cabinet on December 12 and then sent to Lt Governor Mr. Anil Baijal for approval.
While the Lt Governor on December 29, initially advised the ruling government to maintain an ‘income ceiling’ to make sure the most underprivileged section of society in need of medical aid don’t get left behind as compared to the ‘better-off’ sections, CM Arvind Kejriwal disagreed saying the income criteria would kill the very purpose of the scheme.
Also, Health minister Satyendar Jain said patients in dire need of medical aid could fall above the ceiling limit too. And since these patients were taxpayers, they shouldn’t be deprived of availing the services.
The argument, in favour of all needy patients in Delhi no matter what strata of society they came from, seems to have worked.
After the Lt Governor gave his nod to the scheme without the income criteria, CM Arvind Kejriwal took to Twitter to announce the development and thank him.
“Hon’ble @LtGovDelhi approves ‘Quality Health for all’ scheme without income criteria. Thank u so much sir,” he tweeted.
“It is important to provide all facilities in government hospitals, but until such time, patients with acute medical ailments cannot be left at the mercy of private hospitals. Therefore, the Delhi government came up with the scheme of getting these tests and surgeries done without any waiting list. The government is bearing the cost of these tests/surgeries,” an official told NDTV.
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