Today’s post is not about growing your wealth. It is about helping others in need. The title of my article might sound like a political call, but its not.
It is about a unique health scheme that I learned about today. The Rajiv Gandhi Jeevandayee Aarogya Yojana scheme has been started by the Maharashtra government.
This scheme meets healthcare expenditure of Below Poverty Line and certain Above Poverty Line families. To the extent of Rs. 1.5 lakh per year with no expense to the patient at all.
A little background about Mavshi
I spent the better part of today running around with “mavshi”. “Mavshi” is the lady who does the cooking in the morning at our home. Mavshi is also Aunt in Marathi, my native language.
Mavshi needed to get a family member admitted to the hospital for an emergency surgical procedure.
She told us with crying eyes about her problem. I checked with a surgeon who we know and I asked him how we could help.
Hospitals in Mumbai, for example, are supposed to give a certain percentage of their beds for free to needy people. But we all know that in reality, many private hospitals literally drive these needy people away. To compound their woes medical help seekers might be illiterate and not very confident of even walking up to the reception in a plush lobby to ask for their right to medical care.
Our surgeon friend asked me to check with a hospital in suburban Mumbai and get details of the Rajiv Gandhi Jeevandayee Aarogya Yojana scheme. I did.
Unfortunately, the procedure that her brother needed was not present in the list of surgical procedures and treatments that are covered.
Going for the free bed route
I took her to 2 hospitals and navigated different “gates”, “social workers”, “desks” and “doctors”. I tried to get hold of a free bed that her brother would be entitled to under the municipal corporation rules. I understood that it would take a day at least for paperwork, patient checkup and tests. Her brother was in unbearable pain and needed treatment today.
We helped her with cash eventually since it was an emergency and her brother was admitted to a small private clinic.
A surprise lesson – Rajiv Gandhi Jeevandayee Aarogya Yojana
I was not aware of the Rajiv Gandhi Jeevandayee Aarogya Yojana scheme until today. When told that her brother’s ailment is not covered, I immediately searched online for this scheme.
What I learned was truly amazing. We crib about the government rightly. But there are some silver linings to these dark clouds. Read on to seem some key features of this scheme and tell me you are not surprised.
- A whopping 972 surgeries/therapies/procedures are covered in this scheme – Download the list here.
- Apart from Mumbai and its suburbs this scheme is present in 8 districts in Maharashtra – List of hospitals can be seen here.
- Eligibility – A Below Poverty Line (BPL) yellow ration card or an Above Poverty Line (APL) orange ration card. Aadhaar card might be also used if ration card is unavailable.
|GENERAL SURGERY||SURGICAL ONCOLOGY||PEDIATRICS MEDICAL MANAGEMENT|
|ENT SURGERY||MEDICAL ONCOLOGY||CARDIOLOGY|
|OPHTHALMOLOGY SURGERY||RADIATION ONCOLOGY||NEPHROLOGY|
|GYNAECOLOGY AND OBSTETRICS SURGERY||PLASTIC SURGERY||NEUROLOGY|
|ORTHOPEDIC SURGERY AND PROCEDURES||BURNS||PULMONOLOGY|
|SURGICAL GASTRO ENTEROLOGY||POLY TRAUMA||DERMATOLOGY|
|CARDIAC AND CARDIOTHORACIC SURGERY||PROSTHESES||RHEUMATOLOGY|
|PEDIATRIC SURGERY||CRITICAL CARE||ENDOCRINOLOGY|
|GENITOURINARY SYSTEM||GENERAL MEDICINE||GASTROENTEROLOGY|
|NEUROSURGERY||INFECTIOUS DISEASES||INTERVENTIONAL RADIOLOGY|
My first plea to you – educate and hand-hold people in need
Healthcare cost is one of the fastest rising components of family expenditure. Hospital costs like cost of the bed, surgery, medicines, and post-operative care can wipe out the savings of people who are not well-off. I have seen it happening with a maid who used to work at our home.
Economically weaker individuals don’t have access to credit at reasonable interest rates. They fall back on informal loans from loan-sharks in such times. Harsh and exorbitant interest rates of 3% a month are common.
- Make people in your immediate circle aware of this scheme and their rights.
- If you can help someone in moving through the health system please do.
- If you are not economically weak, it might look very easy to ask for information. For some people it is a scary situation. I have seen it happen with Mavshi.
- A visit to a swanky private hospital (there are hospitals like this in the list of approved hospitals) can leave some lost at sea. Hand-hold someone if you can.
- Do your bit. There is good in all of us. Let us express it.
I had to hold Mavshi’s hand when she walked up the escalator. She was sure she is going to fall down when she steps on it. She said this is one reason why she thinks that she can never come to this hospital.
Please do read the update to this post too. This talks about the problems in the Rajiv Gandhi Jeevandayee Aarogya Yojana scheme.
My plea to you
It is my sincere request to you to share this article with your friends and relatives. You can use the sharing icons given at the end of this article. Please spread the word.
Encourage others to educate people in need in their circles. Let the multiplier effect of the Internet work for a positive cause.
I feel happy today for knowing that I am doing my bit to spread this with you. Now, I hope that the Capital Orbit community helps spread this further.
P.S. It will be helpful to the community if you can share details of similar schemes which are operating in different states in the comments section below.