FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT
ITAGAR, March 5: Chief Minister Kalikho Pul on Friday suggested corrective measures for the Chief Minister’s Universal Health Insurance Scheme (CMUHIS), to make it more relevant to its desired objective of providing free medical treatment.
Interacting with indoor patients here at Samaritan Hormin Hospital, he was informed about the shortcomings in the insurance scheme that wasn’t entirely cashless, an official report said here today.
Much of the medical expenses were pocketed from the insurance beneficiaries, while only minor portions were covered by the scheme, Pul observed.
The chief minister enquired the matter with the hospital authority, to which he was informed that medical expenses were covered in a package, as per the agreement between insurance company and the hospital.
The package may include consultation fee, medicine, cabin charges, food and all other charges during the treatment.
“Despite all these benefits, patients may be charged separately because certain services may not be covered under the insurance scheme,” informed the authority.
Pointing out the lacue, the chief minister questioned the effectiveness of the scheme if it did not cover the entire medical expenses.
“The benefit of the scheme should be complete and not in piecemeal manner. If there are any shortcomings with the schemes, the hospital authority should suggest corrective measures and if the contract doesn’t suits them, they should not accept it,” Pul said.
“Once they accept it, they should implement it in its totality. The scheme is for poor people and not for the benefit of the hospital,” he added.
Pul, however, termed the scheme as a novel initiative and assured to carry it forward.
He also informed that he would call all stakeholders including insurance companies and the health officials for valuable inputs in effecting strategies and operations essential for leveraging full potential of the health insurance scheme.
Meanwhile, in a humble move to improve the living standard of working class and to create a strong work force, the chief minister has decided to enhance the minimum salary of contingency staffs of all the departments from existing 4500 to 6000 for unskilled and 7000 for skilled workers.
The enhanced salary would also affect the five yearly enhancement scheme of workers which has now been increased to 2000 from the existing Rs 500.
These revised labour wages is much higher than the present wage of the tiol Floor Level Minimum Wage (NFLMW), which is at Rs. 160 per day.
The idea behind the hike in wages, according to the chief minister, is that while the regular government employee gets travel allowances, dearness allowances and medical reimbursements, the contingency and the casual staffs are deprived of such benefits.
Also, they are deprived of salary hike as implemented from time to time as per the pay commission recommendations, which is made in view of the rise in market rates and the cost of living that the regular employee enjoys.
In a separate meeting with the department of water supply and sanitation, CM stressed for urgent improvement of water supply in the capital city. He opined for identifying alterte source of water like boring well to extract ground water in every sector to meet up the water need of ever burgeoning population of the capital cities.
While asking to plan out their strategies on short term, mid-term and long term basis, Pul pitched for preparation of comprehensive and result oriented projects. On the side line, he stressed for maintaining the existing infrastructure with augmentation wherever necessary.
Laying special emphasis on water supply in far flung interior villages, he called the department to ensure that every village, every household and every individual gets sufficient drinking water facility.