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Now, poor patients can avail free eye surgeries at several state-run hospitals

Now, poor patients can avail free eye surgeries at several state-run hospitals
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The state Health department has decided to conduct eye surgeries on poor patients at several state-run hospitals completely free of cost by the inclusion of eye segment under the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna (RSBY).

To provide health services to all patients who cannot afford their treatment at private clinics, the state government is introducing free eye surgeries under RSBY. This will not only immensely benefit the poor patients in the BPL category but also address eye problems among them that has become so rampant across the state. Incidentally, it will also reduce the rush in OPDs at almost all the state-run hospitals that are so full of patients suffering from various eye-related problems.

Objective of RSBY is to provide free health services to BPL households so that these families can get insurances in case a patient is admitted to a hospital. Beneficiaries are entitled to get hospitalisation coverage up to Rs 30,000. The patients can avail the facilities of the Central scheme from the first day of hospitalisation.

Earlier, the patients requiring eye surgeries did not get the benefits of the scheme. This has become possible after the state government decided to include those suffering from eye problems under this scheme. The coverage may extend up to five members of a family including the head, his spouse and three of his dependants.

The patients belonging to the BPL category were entitled to get the insurance coverage under this scheme for bypass surgery, other surgeries or in any case of hospitalised. But in case of phaco, cataract or other eye surgeries, the insurance coverage was not available for the patients under RSBY scheme.

According to a health department official, both the Central and state governments provide fund for the implementation of the RSBY scheme.

The scheme has been pushed by the state government as there are a large number of poor patients who cannot avail the facilities of the Central scheme in case of eye surgeries. In case of the same, the patient does not get the insurance coverage under the RSBY scheme. Now, poor patients will be able to avail the insurance coverage under this scheme whereby phaco, cataract and other eye surgeries will be conducted on patients. Now, all the patients can get their eye surgeries done at free of cost from the government hospitals empanelled with the RSBY.

Patients who require power spectacles after the cataract surgery for proper vision will be get them at free of cost and will be provided by the hospitals, a senior health department official said. The beneficiaries need to pay Rs 30 for the registration to avail the treatment at the state-run hospitals.

Earlier, patients requiring a cataract surgery could not avail the Central scheme due to technical problems. In most of the cases of cataract surgeries, the patient does not require hospitalisation.

Patients are released from the hospital after the operation. But the patients admitted to the hospital are only entitled to get the coverage under this scheme. As a result of the norms, many patients could not get the insurance coverage under the Central scheme as they did not get admission in case of a few eye surgeries.
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