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AAA set to pivot more health schemes: Sarma

Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, April 18: Terming the Atal Amrit Abhiyan (AAA) as the model for health schemes elsewhere in the country, State Health and Family Welfare Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has said that AAA is set to give birth to a series of other health schemes in the State. 
Speaking at the launching of AAA at International Convention Centre at Srimanta Sankaradev Kalakshetra, Guwahati on Wednesday, Sarma said: “Taking AAA as the pivot, we’re going to start health schemes – Samartha Asom and a scheme for the setting up of cancer hospitals in the State etc. Under Samartha Asom we’ve set the goal of providing free-of-cost surgical treatment to children up to twelve years of age suffering from any of the 25 birth-related defects. The scheme is at an advanced stage for its implementation.”
Sarma has also said that Dispur has tied up with Tata Trust to set up as many as 19 cancer hospitals in the State. The proposed cancer hospitals, according to Sarma, are to come up within the next three years. “By now agreements amounting to Rs 2,000 crore have been signed with Tata Trust. Treatment of cancer patients with AAA cards will help us run the cancer hospitals smoothly, letting us hire good doctors,” he said.
The AAA, medical benefits under cashless mode, was launched in Guwahati by the Vice President of India, M Venkaiah Naidu on Wednesday. The scheme is set to cover a staggering 92 per cent of the State’s population.
Sarma said the AAA is going to cover the cost of treatment, including surgery, of six disease groups and conditions: cardiovascular, cancer, kidney, neurology, neonatal and burns. Beneficiaries can avail free treatment up to Rs 2 lakh per person a year for a total of 438 procedures (including surgery) under the six specialties at 23 empanelled super-speciality hospitals, both government and private, in Assam and super-speciality and renowned private hospitals in other States. Sarma said that more hospitals within and outside the state would be empanelled soon.
Apart from all adult members of all BPL (below poverty line) families in the state, APL (above poverty line) families whose annual family income is up to Rs 5 lakh will be covered by the scheme. Enrolment kiosks have been set up in all district headquarters and 1.5 crore beneficiaries have already been enrolled. People of the State who are yet to get AAA cards are to get them in the next six months.
A 24×7 AAA call centre has been set up to guide beneficiaries. Besides, help desks have been set up in all empanelled hospitals and these will be manned by arogya mitras round the clock.
According to Sarma, apart from AAA, BPL people of the State can avail all facilities given under the Central Government’s Atal Ayushman Bhava Health Scheme that extends up to Rs 5 lakh for treatment. 

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Ankur Kalita