Centre to launch health insurance for slum dwellers

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Chennai, Mar 1 (UNI) Buoyed by the success of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) programme, the Centre will soon launch National Urban Health Mission (NUHM) aimed at providing health insurance cover for the 5.5 crore slum population in India.

Talking to reporters after a review meeting of the NRHM, Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss said the programme would be launched in the next three to four months and the Ministry has sought a fund allocation of Rs 8,000 crore from the Centre for the first five years of the programme.

He said 429 towns and cities in the country, having a population of more than one lakh, would be covered under the scheme.

There were 22 crore people in these 429 towns and cities of which 5.5 crore were living in slums and they would be given special attention under the programme.

''All these 5.5 crore people will be brought under an insurance cover upto Rs 30,000 to Rs 40,000 and the government will give an insurance card with which they could get cash less treatment at private and public hospitals'', he said, adding that it would be launched jointly by the Central and the State governments.

''In the initial years, the premium of Rs 600 per person will be paid by the Centre. We will pay 100 per cent premium in the initial years'', he added.

Under the programme, like ASHA in NURM, Urban Social Health Activist (USHA) would be appointed per 2000 slum population and Mahila Arokya Samithi per 100 households would be formed with an initial seed money of Rs 5,000 on the lines of women SHGs.

Dr Ramadoss said an Urban Health Centre, with a doctor, two nurses and five AVMs, would be set up to provide quality treatment to the slum populace.

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