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Jammu and Kashmir Govt. announces health insurance for BPL families

Jammu, Sat, 18 Feb 2012 ANI

Jammu, Feb 18 (ANI): The Jammu and Kashmir Government has announced a health insurance cover for 66,000 families in the state who fall in the category of Below Poverty Line (BPL).


The scheme known as Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY), would provide rupees 30, 000 to the families, after they pay a nominal registration fee of Rupees 30.


It is now operational in the prime districts of Jammu and Srinagar. The state government also plans to implement the scheme in other districts within a year.


"This scheme has been introduced here for the first time. This is a good scheme and the authorities are sitting outside and distributing slips to people who are Below Poverty Line (BPL) and there is registration taking place inside a room by paying a fee of rupees 30. They are then receiving their smart cards. This has a lot of benefits. For one year, you get rupees 30, 000 insurance cover," said Dhyan Chand, a resident.


The RSBY has been launched under the direct supervision of Health and Horticulture Minister Sham Lal Sharma.


"This is a flagship programme by the Government of India, according to which, those people who are under the BPL and can't afford medical aid, for them the scheme was introduced. Unfortunately, this was not functional here in the last seven years. So, we took up the issue with the Health Department here. Though this is under the mandate of the Labour and Employment Department, but we know that there is hardly any private sector here, which is why the Labour and Employment Department has also not expanded, so I accepted this challenge and constituted a committee to tackle the problem," said Sharma.


Local media said 48,000 cards have been distributed in Jammu and 18,000 in Srinagar.


"The scheme is really good. This has come here for the first time. It has a lot of benefits, like we are poor, so we can't spend a lot, which is why the government has provided an insurance cover of rupees 30, 000. We can avail benefits, when we are unwell. We are sometimes unable to go to hospitals too, so there are five hospitals under this scheme, where we can avail medical benefits by showing our card," said Satish Kumar, a resident.


The project was launched by the central government some years ago, but was unfortunately not implemented in Jammu and Kashmir then.


About 24 percent of Jammu and Kashmir's population lives below the poverty line. This scheme would ensure they receive timely medical aid, especially during emergencies.


The project would also post ambulances on the National Highway, so as to provide immediate relief in the event of a mishap. (ANI)


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