By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, July 19: The centrally funded Arogya Nidhi scheme has been virtually discontinued in the State since the last two years, with the State uble to provide its share of funds.
The scheme was introduced in the State in 2009. Under the scheme, the states need to create their own State Illness funds while the Central government provides funding to the extent of 50 per cent of contribution made by State government. A pool of Rs 5 crore was created annually (with 50:50 central and state funding) in the initial years.
Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi was set up under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare in 1997. The scheme provides for fincial assistance to patients below poverty line suffering from major life-threatening diseases, so that they can receive medical treatment at any of the super-specialty hospitals, medical institutes or other government hospitals. Fincial assistance up to Rs 1.5 lakh is given to beneficiaries.
Sources said that the State is uble to provide funds for the scheme and has also failed to provide accounts and records of the scheme for the past few years. "The State government has been negligent…that is why the scheme has remained in suspension since the last two years," an official source said.