Lok Satta plans 'free health care' programme

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Hyderabad, Oct 10 (UNI) The Lok Satta party today mooted a unique programme of public-private partnership to ensure universal and free health care in Andhra Pradesh.

Lok Satta National Coordinator Jayaprakash Narayan told newspersons here that under the programme, every patient would be given a health card and utilisation of services would be recorded on patient cards. At the end of the month, hospitals (public or private) could claim reimbursements from the government on the basis of services provided to these patients, he said.

All stakeholders -- doctors, civil society and all sections of people-- should join the struggle to build a viable universal health care programme, estimated to cost Rs 2,500 crore a year for providng health care to every citizen irrespective of economic status.

The bureaucrat-turned politician opined that the programme would help to put an end to the ''dismal'' health care situation in the state.

The concept brochure was released by party state working committee member G Pratibha Rao.

At present, hospitalised health care accounted for more than half (58 per cent) of Indian's total annual expenditure on healthcare. As a consequence, more than 40 per cent of those hospitalised, borrow money or sell assets to cover the expenses.

At least, one quarter of hospitalsed Indians fell below poverty line because of hospital expenses, he lamented.

To effectively combat corruption, the proposal included creation of a district ombudsman, he said, adding the state government's 'Aarogyasri' scheme only benefitted corporate hospitals treating a few rare diseases like those affecting heart, brain and kidney and did not not cover maternity care, infectious diseases, routine surgeries, general ailments and non-surgical interventions.


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