State govt to bring eye surgeries of poor patients under RSBY scheme

State govt to bring eye surgeries of poor patients under RSBY scheme
The state government has decided to bring eye surgeries of poor patients at government-run hospitals under the coverage of Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna (RSBY). This will benefit the poor patients from BPL category requiring eye surgeries who can now avail the free treatment at the state run hospitals. 

A senior official at the state health department said in case of eye surgeries, the patient did not get the insurance coverage under RSBY scheme. Now, the 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. 

Eye problem among poor has become rampant in India and the OPDs of state-run hospitals are full of them. Various voluntary organisations have been organising check up camps, conducting cataract surgeries and were distributing lens at free of cost. 

But this was not enough to handle the pressure of huge patients. With this backdrop the inclusion of patients with eye problems under this category is a major step towards giving them relief. 

The patients belonging to BPL category were entitled to get the insurance coverage under this scheme for bypass surgery, other surgeries or in any cases in which patients get hospitalised. 

But in case of phaco, cataract or other eye surgeries the insurance coverage was not available for the patients under RSBY scheme. From now onwards, the patients requiring eye surgeries can enjoy the free treatment at hospitals. The patients who require power spectacles after the cataract surgery for proper vision, will be distributed the spectacles at free of cost by the hospitals, a senior health department official said. 

Objective of RSBY is to provide free health services to BPL households so that these families can get insurance in case of any hospitalisations. Beneficiaries under RSBY are entitled to get hospitalisation coverage up to Rs 30,000 for most of the diseases that require hospitalisation. The patients can avail the facilities of the central scheme from the first day of hospitalisation. The coverage extends to five members of a family including head of the family, his spouse and three of his dependents. The beneficiaries need to pay Rs 30 for registration. Both the central and the state government provide fund for the running of the RSBY scheme.   

The state government was considering the proposal of bringing eye surgeries under the scheme as there were a large number of poor patients in the state who could not avail the facilities of the central scheme in case of eye surgeries. There was a technical problem in case of cataract operations. In most of the cases of the cataract surgeries the patient does not require hospitalization. 

The patients are released from the hospital after the operation. But RSBY entitled those patients the insurance coverage if they get admitted in the hospitals. As a result of the norms many poor patients could not get the insurance coverage under the central scheme. 

With an aim to bring these patients under the RSBY scheme, the state government has come up with the new facilities which will immensely benefit the poor patients. 
Pradip Chatterjee

Pradip Chatterjee

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