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Health services scheme for poor a `jumla’, government fooling people: Congress

Health services scheme for poor a `jumla’, government fooling people: Congress

New Delhi: The Congress on Saturday termed the Modi government’s Budget announcement of a mega health service insurance scheme for the poor a “jumla” and said it was made without adequate funds.

Talking to reporters here, Congress Communications incharge Randeep Singh Surjewala said the proposed National Health Protection Scheme was another programme of the Modi government and that its previous health insurance schemes have not brought satisfactory results.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley have made health services to the poor a ‘jumla’,” Surjewala said.

He said two health insurance schemes have been brought by the Modi government and the proposed National Health Protection Scheme is now being billed as NaMocare by BJP leaders.

“Now in 2018 he has brought a new scheme on his own name. Modiji have you allotted any money for the 2018 health scheme? The truth is that the government is fooling the people of the country,” Surjewala said.

The proposed health protection scheme is intended to be the world’s largest government funded healthcare programme which will cover over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families, providing coverage up to Rs 5 lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation.

Surjewala said that collections through one per cent additional health and education cess will be grossly inadequate to meet the expenditure under the health protection scheme.

“To buy a health insurance scheme of Rs 5 lakh, minimum premium is of Rs 5,000. If Rs 5,000 is the premium amount, then Rs 1.5 lakh crore is required as premium which the government needs to give to the insurance companies. Where is that amount? That money has not been allotted yet,” he said.

He said if only half of the 10 crore families take half the entitled claim at Rs 2.5 lakh then also Rs 12.5 lakh crore would be required.

Surjewala said there have been contradictions in the official statements about funding of the scheme, its likely launch date and the amounts involved.

“The people of the country have started describing the Union Budget 2018-19 in three words – “Modinomics plus Jaitleynomics is equivalent to jumlanomics,” he said.

“Rahul Gandhi has rightly said that thankfully only one year of NDA government is left and that’s why it is being said `Acche din to aane wale hain, kyuki Modiji to jane wale hain’ (Good days would be arriving shortly as Modi would be departing),” he added.

IANS