By Arun Pratap Singh
Dehradun, 29 May: While the Ayushman Yojana health scheme announced by the Centre is meant for the 10 crores of the poorest families in India, the Atal AyushmanYojana is the modified version of the scheme which has been announced by Uttarakhand’s Trivendra Singh Rawat Government. The scheme aims to make interventions in primary, secondary and tertiary care systems, covering both preventive and promotive health, to address healthcare holistically.
The claim of the state government is that all the families residing in Uttarakhand are eligible for the scheme. The target is to make about 85 lakh Atal Ayushman cards (when the actual population of the state is over 1.2 crores) to ensure that all the families residing in the state are covered under the scheme. The claim is that 32 lakh Atal Ayushman cards have already been generated, so far, though officials themselves admit that the actual figure of the cards generated could be smaller. In fact, there are many technical glitches that are preventing a large number of eligible persons (residing in the state) from getting themselves registered as beneficiaries of the scheme.
First of all, the software is not accepting the data of a large number of Ration Card holders. A large number of those who are ration card holders for long are also not able to get their data verified and authenticated while applying online for the Atal Ayushman cards, even when they are registered as voters in the state prior to 2012, which is the stated base year for eligibility according to the officials. As a result, in many cases, even as poor patients were getting treated free for serious ailments like renal failure are now being pressurised by the hospital authorities to get Atal Ayushman Golden cards made at the earliest failing which their treatment would stop.
Another category belongs to those who do not have ration cards or have discontinued using their ration cards for various reasons, even though they are on the voters’ list since prior to 2012. When the state government claims that all the families resident in the state are eligible, then the ration card has to cease as a mandatory requirement to get enrolled in the Ayushman scheme. However, currently, the software is not permitting this and the department has not bothered to take care of this problem.
Family search is provided in the online registration system but in most such cases, where the ration card is not available, the search is not producing a positive result, thereby making it impossible for a large number of families to get the card. Currently, the web portal for the registration claims that it would take about a month for such families whose data is not available through search to get registered. However, the truth is that not one but several months have passed since this notice was posted on the portal but there has been no progress towards this.
Yet another kind of problem is faced by those who already possess the Atal Ayushman Golden Card. When they visit an empanelled hospital, they are still denied free treatment with the excuse that the disease is not covered under the scheme, despite the fact that these diseases are actually included. It may be recalled that empanelled hospitals like Mahant Indresh Hospital had to be penalised by the government for denying free treatment to the patients having the Golden Card. The fact is that 1350 diseases are covered under the scheme, which includes packages related to cardiac problems, renal problems (urology), oncology (cancer), paediatrics, general surgery, neuro-surgery, plastic and reconstructive surgery, gynaecology, burns, ENT, etc.
The list of empanelled hospitals in Dehradun includes the Doon Medical College Hospital, Coronation Hospital, Synergy Hospital, CMI, Amritsar Eye Hospital, AIIMS Rishikesh, Jolly Grant Himalayan Hospital and Mahant Indresh Hospital. A total of 41 hospitals are registered in Dehradun district under the scheme.