Jaipur: The state government on Wednesday assured the House that the Chief Minister Free Medicine Scheme launched by the previous dispensation in government-run hospitals would not be closed but would be linked with a health insurance scheme.
Health Minister Rajendra Singh Rathor categorically rejected the supplementary questions of Opposition Congress MLA, Pradhyuman Singh saying the Scheme would "not be closed" and that the state government has "earmarked" a budget provision of Rs 342.46 cr in the current fiscal year 2014-15 as against Rs. 342.12 cr of the Congress government in 2013-14.
Singh alleged that there were rumours that the state BJP government has decided to stop the Scheme and the patients were running from pillar to post to get its benefit in government-run hospitals.
The minister said the state government was considering to introduce a health insurance scheme on the pattern of those in Karnataka, Maharashtra, West Bengal and provide a health insurance card to people with the insurance benefit of up to Rs 30,000 for normal diseases, and Rs 3 lakh for serious illnesses.
Out of 4,073 posts of pharmacists, 2,595 vacant posts would be filled up in next four months, he said.
Under the CM Free Medicine Scheme, launched on October 2, 2011, altogether 18,047 drug stores were opened and the drugs were being distributed free-of-cost to patients in the hospitals, Rathor said.
On another question of BJP MLA Heeralal, Rathore assured the house that vacant posts of 3,132 doctors and 60,000 para-medical staff would be filled up on a priority basis and by giving incentives to doctors in ten districts, where the infant mortality rate and maternal mortality rate have increased.
Doctors would be paid extra incentive cash of Rs 25,000 to Rs 35,000 if they accept posting in such districts, and Karauli was one of the districts in it, he added.
On BJP MLA Gordhan`s starred question, Rathor said out of 10,999 approved posts from medical officer to director, there were 3,201 vacant posts, and these would be filled up by competent doctors and employees.