Throughout the country, the medical expenses and healthcare amenities are expensive. Having said that, availing and accessing medical aid is also like a mammoth task for the poor people.
Analysing this situation and to make healthcare affordable for the poor and needy people, the Maharashtra government has decided to approach to the corporate houses. The government will appeal the corporate houses to contribute their CSR fund towards the medical aid.
Speaking to My Medical Mantra, State Medical Education Minister, Girish Mahajan, said, “We have constituted a committee under the chairmanship of Dr Anand Bang, which would analyse all the aspects related to this. There are number of people who need financial aid for getting the treatment, but they cannot get the aid through government’s scheme. We want to help them as well; no one should be left out due to lack of financial aid.”
The state government provides medical aid through various schemes that are meant for lower and middle class people, by issuing them different coloured ration cards that can make them eligible for medical benefits.
Rajiv Gandhi Jeevandayee Aarogya Yojana is one such scheme that benefits the ones with orange and yellow cards. This entitles them to acquire free medical aid at Government hospitals. With this, poor patients can avail medical assistance through Chief Ministers’ Medical relief fund as well.
But, there is a considerable population in Maharashtra that have white ration card, but their income is barely above that of the poverty line. Understanding this, the state government has put forth a suggestion to all corporates, asking them to give their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) fund to the government so that they can create funds for those who need financial aids for medical treatment.
“Out of pocket expenditure is growing higher, undoubtedly,” said Dr. Nikhil Datar, practicing Gynaecologist and health activist.
Dr Datar added that the idea will help if it is followed effectively; “The idea is a noble one. But I strongly feel that the system needs to be transparent and efficient. Awareness about the schemes, their benefits, cost of surgeries etc. should be told to the individuals beforehand. If all of this is corrected, the move will really be helpful.” However, he also stresses on the need of careful demarcation between the ones who really need aid (among White card holders) and the ones who don’t.
Dr. Sanjay Borude, a well-known practicing bariatric surgeon, felt that the taxpayers ought to get benefit and such a move will be welcomed. “Anything which would help any person is a great move. As a taxpayer, a portion of our population pays 33 per cent tax. It is only fair that even they receive some benefit of the same.” He further added that it is this benefit of old-age and medical aid that attracts a lot of people to get an NRI status, “Abroad, if you have been a regular taxpayer, after retirement there is a benefit of sound healthcare.”