Saturday, March 28, 2009

Everything you wanted to know about Aarogyasri but did not know who to ask

I have been a big fan of the Rajiv Aarogyasri program started by the Government of Andhra Pradesh in 2007. It basically provides free medical care to people below the poverty line (defined as people who have below a certain annual income).

I recently stumbled upon the Aarogyasri website. In case you're wondering why I did not happen to see this earlier, I was using the wrong spelling - Arogyasree as against Aarogyasri!

Those who want information about this scheme - what is covered, the procedure to utilize the service, the hospitals that are attached - should definitely visit this site.

To summarize this program, the government has tied up with an insurance company, Star Health and Allied Insurance Company and many corporate hospitals for providing medical care which includes major surgeries and other medical treatment including dialysis.

This goes a long way in showing what a little creative thought and innovation can do. The population is huge in India. But if the government of Andhra Pradesh could do it for this state, it should definitely be within the realm of possibility to extend this across the country - maybe in phases.

Dr. Rajashekhar Reddy should impress upon the powers-that-be within the Congress party the beauty of this scheme. The number of lives saved can be amazing.

There are allegations of corruption as usual. Which government scheme does not have problems of corruption? But in the process, the poor are really benefiting. There is no question about that.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

You may think that Aarogyasri is a great scheme , but let me assure you will not like a similar scheme if implemented in your field. We all love socialism dont we , as long as its not us giving but getting the benefits. The scheme is not well run else it may be good. Misuse by the rich and powerful is rampant , tonne loads of paper work and poor package costs.

Kamal Shah said...

I agree that there may be flaws in the scheme. But I know that many people have benefited from the scheme - people who would have had no other choice than to accept their fate and die. Rome wasn't built in a day. Such a scheme will take some time to mature and for the authorities to iron out the problems.

Disclaimer: I am neither a beneficiary of the scheme nor connected with the government, the Congress party or Rajashekhar Reddy in any way!

Kamal