Millennium Post

Now, Delhiites to get free tests in 21 pvt diagnostic centres

Residents, who are undergoing treatment in Delhi government hospitals in the national Capital, can now avail free diagnostic tests in 21 identified private institutions, announced the AAP government on Thursday.

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said in an event here that another scheme would be rolled out within a week under which surgeries could also be done in private hospitals for free.

This would essentially mean that patients will not have to wait for months to undergo life-saving elective surgeries at the city's government hospitals.

Around 30 kinds of surgeries — including heart bypass, cataract and kidney stone removal procedures will be facilitated, free of charge for patients referred by Delhi government hospitals.

It will reimburse the hospitals at Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) rates for the complete treatment — including pre-surgery consultation, surgery, medicines, food and hospital stay and follow-ups for a month after discharge.

At present, patients visiting the Delhi government hospitals have to wait anywhere between three months and two years to undergo these surgeries.

The government will also provide free orthopaedic implants to patients at the Guru Teg Bahadur, Lok Nayak, Baba Saheb Ambedkar and Deendayal Upadhyay hospitals.

Though patients from all income groups can avail of this service, it is restricted only to residents of the city.

Calling it a historic move, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal expressed satisfaction at being able to see "the dream with which we came into politics turn into reality". He said people who witnessed a waiting list up to three years for various tests and surgeries would now get treatment in time.

The AAP leader said the public health and education models of the city would set an example not just for the nation but the whole world.

"Every government's first responsibility is to provide quality education and healthcare to all its citizens," Kejriwal said. He added the responsibility was even bigger with private healthcare getting more expensive by the day.

"We have been able to show that tax received from public is more than enough for society's welfare schemes," said Kejriwal.

It may be mentioned that the AAP government had in December last year announced the free diagnostic tests for those residing in Delhi for the past three years and whose annual family income was under Rs 3 lakh. Now, both these conditions have been now scrapped, Jain added.

The minister said Delhi residents, if referred by Delhi government hospitals, can get their diagnostic tests including MRI and CT scan done for free in 21 identified private centres. The government will reimburse these centres, Jain added.

Similarly, if the waiting for surgeries in Delhi government hospitals exceeded a month, these too can be carried out in 41 hospitals accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals (NABH) and registered with the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS).

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia lauded Jain for his "courageous and creative" solution for long queues at hospitals for surgeries and diagnostic tests. He promised Jain, in his capacity as the Finance Minister, there would be no shortage of funds for the scheme.
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