Upping the scope of quality healthcare in Andhra Pradesh, the YS Jaganmohan Reddy government has decided to not only pay for the medical expenses of those undergoing surgical procedures but also compensate any wage loss incurred during their post-operative recovery period.
The sum paid by the Dr YSR Aarogyasri Health Care Trust, the agency constituted to handle the state government's flagship scheme, would be at the rate of Rs 225 per day for the prescribed period of recovery with a monthly cap of Rs 5,000.
This wage-loss allowance is applicable to 836 kinds of surgeries in 26 specialised areas. The money will be deposited into patients' bank accounts within 48 hour of discharge from the hospital, failing which beneficiaries can make enquiries on toll-free number 104.
The YSR Arogyasri Asara Scheme for "post-operative sustenance" came into effect from Monday, with Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy launching it at an event in Guntur.
The government will also provide free treatment at over 150 super-specialty hospitals across Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore and, starting December 15, disburse 510 kinds of medicines through various hospitals. On December 26, it will launch a drive to modernise primary health centres, community health centres and regional medical hospitals; issue health cards; and provide monthly pension to those suffering from serious ailments (Rs 10,000 to those afflicted with thalassemia, sickle cell anaemia and haemophilia; and Rs 5,000 to patients suffering from severe bladder disease or those confined to a wheelchair or bed).
Leprosy patients can also expect a monthly pension of Rs 3,000 from January 1, and a pilot project will be undertaken under the Dr YSR Aarogyasri Healthcare Scheme in West Godavari district for treating 2,000 varieties of diseases. Another scheme for treating 1,200 diseases will be undertaken in other districts of the state.
The government also announced a major pay hike for sanitation workers employed at all medical institutions, from primary health centres to medical colleges, increasing their monthly salary from Rs 8,000 to Rs 16,000.
After launching the YSR Arogyasri Asara Scheme, Jaganmohan Reddy accused the opposition of trying to target him with questions regarding his religion and caste. "My religion is humanity and my caste is keeping up the promises made," he said.
His remark was intended as a jibe at opposition parties such as the Telugu Desam Party, BJP and the Jana Sena, who had criticised the Chief Minister for not following procedures meant for "non-Hindus" during his visit to the Lord Venkateswara temple near Tirupati.