The Andhra Pradesh government extended the Aarogyasri healthcare cover for the poor in case of any treatment exceeding Rs 1,000 in cost to six more districts.
Chief minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy said the scope of the welfare scheme would be widened further in the coming days. He added that Andhra Pradesh is the only state in the country to include Covid-19 treatment under a scheme like Aarogyasri.
During the videoconference with district collectors while formally announcing the extension of Aarogyasri scheme to six more districts, the chief minister said the state has been taking all steps to contain the novel coronavirus pandemic and has brought Covid-19 treatment under Aarogyasri since April while other states have emulated this.
The pilot project of the Aarogyasri scheme was launched on January 3 in West Godavari district to provide medical cover for any treatment that costs Rs 1,000 or more. The programme was extended to Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam, Guntur, Prakasam, YSR Kadapa and Kurnool districts from Thursday.
The CM said that the ambit of Aarogyasri was being broadened extensively and the scheme was applicable to those whose annual income was up to Rs 5 lakh. “The state will introduce a grading system for hospitals and there will be a revamp of the government hospitals under the Nadu-Nedu programme that aims for technology-driven education and innovation.
"All Aarogyasri bills should be expedited through the green channel. The state has cleared the previous government’s dues to network hospitals worth Rs 680 crore. We included ailments like cancer and cochlear implant in Aarogyasri,” he said.
He also noted that the government had distributed 1.42 crore Aarogyasri cards and the number of ailments covered under the scheme was increased from 1,059 during the previous government term to 2,200.
Jagan said that the state will soon have 27 teaching hospitals and 500 types of medicines supplied in them would be of WHO standards.
The chief minister has instructed the district collectors to concentrate on containment of Covid-19, saying everyone has to live with it till a vaccine comes out. “Awareness should be created about the safety measures and how to go about things once a person suspects symptoms. People should know where the Covid testing centres are.
About 80 per cent of the cases can recover by home quarantine and those who do not have isolation facilities at home can be admitted to Covid Care Centres,” he said.
A special drive should be taken up to educate people on the precautions to be adopted like wearing a mask and washing hands, etc, he maintained. "
The chief minister said that to provide medical facilities from the mandal (an administrative division) level, the government has bought 1,088 vehicles for the '104' and '108' ambulance services with state-of-the-art technology.
"We are also providing Rs 5,000 per month to the patients as post-surgery allowance for the period of rest prescribed by the doctor," he said.
The state will soon establish 13,000 YSR Village Clinics with 54 types of medicines and one auxiliary nursing midwife (ANM) each for providing medical services, the chief minister announced.