Harsh Vardhan unveils his health plan for Delhi

BJP on Friday said it will introduce universal health insurance policy under which every Delhiite will be insured for Rs 6 per day for unlimited access to state government`s health infrastructure.

PTI| Last Updated: Nov 22, 2013, 21:40 PM IST

New Delhi: BJP on Friday said if voted to power it will introduce universal health insurance policy under which every Delhiite will be insured for a nominal sum of Rs 6 per day for unlimited access to state government`s health infrastructure which will be modernised on a war-footing.
"Health needs to be a social movement. Once BJP comes to power, we will implement universal health insurance policy in Delhi in which for a nominal sum of Rs 6 per day, every Delhi citizen will be provided complete healthcare," said BJP`s Chief Ministerial candidate Dr Harsh Vardhan.

On the third day of his `Dus Din, Dus Iraade` campaign, he also attacked the Centre and Delhi`s Sheila Dikshit government claiming that under them, the health infrastructure of the country and the city is in shambles.

"Under UPA governance, India has failed to achieve its commitments on health under the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and we are on the brink of international embarrassment when these come up for review in 2015.

"What good is health insurance if the hospitals remain the pitiable condition which they are in today thanks to the Sheila Dikshit government`s focus on the rich. Long queues are visible every morning in the hospitals. The infrastructure of the hospitals is creaking," he said.

Vardhan said that the BJP will modernise on a war footing the hospitals of Delhi and fit them with state of the art equipment. The existing hospitals will be modernised and new ones will be built in areas not served by the public health system.

Speaking about the proposed insurance policy, Vardhan said that under the scheme, there will be no need to carry `Health Cards`, instead people have to register on-line which will generate an automatic number which would be good enough for each citizen to be enrolled.

"All these things will be overlooked by a Regulatory Commission which will not have any politician or bureaucrat but consists of experts from the medical fraternity and consumer activists," he said.

Explaining the ambitious project, Vardhan said that people will not need to queue up on given dates to pay their premiums. Online payment of premium will be possible. Under the scheme, unlimited number of check-ups for any condition will be provided.

"If government hospitals fail to deliver satisfactory services on any given day in the view of Regulator, citizens would be provided vouchers to visit private hospitals or clinics. This step will factor in accountability for hospital administrators," he said.

Vardhan promised that if his party comes to power, out-patient treatment facilities will be doubled in every government hospital. Large number of doctors and interns will be employed and their constant training and retraining will be monitored by the Regulator.

"There will be mobile clinics for each of Delhi colonies, whether authorised or not, will be deployed. In large colonies more than one would be deployed. These mobile clinics will provide all sorts of Medicare -from checking blood pressure to carrying out blood tests, from treating minor ailments to providing oxygen or first aid.

"Neonatal services will be provided by exclusive mobile clinics. All services will be completely free and reports of indifference on the part of staff would be treated with very seriously by Regulator," said Vardhan.

Under the scheme all citizens will be entitled to at least one complete health check up every six months and the regulator will ensure that the latest technology and know-how is available.

Vardhan said that those suffering from serious ailments will be provided free transportation for their treatment and GPS will be fitted in ambulances and other vehicles.

"Transportation to and fro to hospitals will be assured free of charge for patients needing chemotherapy, radiation, orthopaedic care, etc. Movement of government health vehicles, ambulances etc will be fitted with GPS instruments to prevent their misuse," he said.

There will be home visits for senior citizens who cannot come to hospitals. Special units will be there in each hospital for constantly assuring individual attention like replenishment of oxygen cylinders or upgrading of quality of nursing staff as per needs.

"We will start a system in which SMSs can be sent to central control room to ensure prompt medical attention in times of emergency," said Vardhan.

Under the new scheme, health coverage will include psychological illnesses such as Alzheimer`s disease, Dementia etc.

Vardhan said that efforts will be made so that there could be awareness for blood donation and it would part of growing up in Delhi. From student stage itself, citizens will be encouraged to donate blood and awareness of body and organ donation will be increased through government funded round-the-year campaigns.

He also said that there would be Zero tolerance to complaints of abuse of authority by hospital administrators and the regulator will swing into action on receipt of SMS by complainants.