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The AP Model of the healthcare initiative "Arogyasri" draws attention of many States in the country

Hyderabad|India|November'2008: The Andhra Pradesh Model of the healthcare initiative "Arogyasri" has drawn the attention of many States in the country now with the officials of the Governments in Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka visiting the State and exploring the possibility of replicating the scheme in one form or other in their States.

Uttar Pradesh Health Secretary, Anoop Chandra Pandey, who held discussions with the Principal Secretary, Medical & Health Mr.P.K. Agarwal and CEO of Aarogyasri Trust, Mr.A.Babu, described the initiative as unique in the healthcare management history of the country.

The Chief Minister, Dr. Y S Rajasekhara Reddy expressed happiness over the development and asked the Aarogyasri officials to extend all possible guidance and assistance to the States that wanted to implement the scheme. In all, 13 States in the country sought information about Aarogyasri scheme including Assam, Uttaranchal, Delhi, Rajasthan, Orissa, MP, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.

The Chief Minister while expressing satisfaction over the implementation of the scheme said that Andhra Pradesh was proud of being the first State in the country and among the developing countries, to provide free and quality medical treatment to poor and low income people in a massive scale. Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Smt. Sonia Gandhi and many other leaders also applauded the initiative.

Under the Scheme, the network hospitals had so far conducted 5,600 free health camps in rural areas wherein over 13 lakh people underwent health check-ups and more than 1,20,000 patients underwent Free surgeries/treatments. Aarogyasri scheme had thus come to the rescue of many poor and low income people to get the required treatment and undergo the most essential and life-saving surgery. Patients were also being given free of cost follow-up treatment and medicine for one year. As a result, the Corporate and Super specialty hospitals were now teeming with low income people who were flooding the hospitals for treatment.

Mr. P.K.Agarwal informed to the Chief Minister that with effect from 14th November, 2008 additional 77 ailments were incorporated in the Scheme for treatment for accident related surgeries; Ear, Nose, Throat surgeries; Pregnancy related diseases; Neurology related surgeries, Emergency health services related to deadly ailments among children and old. Provision of BTE Analog hearing aid, as announced by the Chief Minister on the World Deaf Day was also included in the scheme. Mr Babu informed that follow up treatment for 121 diseases was approved for Aarogyasri patients and this included counselling, tests and medicines for a period of one year after the patient leaves the hospital. Aarogya Mitras were working round the clock in all network hospitals to guide and assist the patients.

In order to improve network hospital services, the Chief Minister has instructed that 25% of the total beds in a network hospital and in each specialty be reserved for Aarogyasri patients. Separate Out Patient facility was made mandatory, in all network hospitals to be manned by Medical Coordinator and Aarogya Mitras, for easy facilitation of patients.

Network hospitals were also made responsible to obtain from patients at the time of admission itself on the applicability of Aagoryasri scheme or otherwise to avoid later complaints of cash transactions. At least 48 hours time would be given to the patient to show Aarogyasri health card/white ration card when a patient comes in emergency or in an unconscious state. The Aarogyasri Trust also decided to conduct an independent evaluation of the scheme by the Indian Institute of Public Health and to expand its staff structure in view of the increased responsibilities.

Reachout's News Bureau
 Nov' 2008

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