By R Lester Makang
UKHRUL, February 12: With the government not bringing any hospitals/health centers of Ukhrul under the Rastriya Swathya Bima Yojana (RSBY), the very objective of providing free health insurance cover to the poor people coming from BPL families has fallen flat on its face in the district.
According to Dr Nelson Vashum, director, Comprehensive Health Services and Research Centre (CHSRC), Ukhrul, the national health insurance scheme was officially launched in the district some years back and many smart cards have already been issued to so called beneficiaries under the scheme since then but till date the state government has not considered to empanel any hospitals of the district.
He said that absence of empanelled hospitals/health care facilities, coupled with the lack of awareness of the scheme amongst the public has deprived the people of the benefits entitled to them under the RSBY scheme.
“Considering the acute impact of out of pocket expenses on the economic conditions of the poor people here, empanelment of local hospitals is the need of the hour to help the people avail the benefits of the scheme, he asserted.
Decrying the lackadaisical attitude of the state government, he also said that it (government) has not even renewed the MoU signed between CHSRC and the Manipur government under the Public Private Partnership model that expired in December last.
In the meantime, the RSBY Ukhrul district coordinator, Mangam Luikham has said that around 12,780 persons from BPL families have been issued smart cards from across the district so far. Of which Ukhrul centre accounts for 6399, Chingai 2790, Kamjong 1296, Phungyar 1660 and Kasom Khullen 585 card holders.
“All these card holders are eligible for benefits under the national health insurance scheme,” added Luikham.