Chennai: Scrapping yet another initiative of the erstwhile DMK regime, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Monday announced an improved medical insurance cover under which a family can derive a maximum benefit of Rs four lakh for four years.
The new scheme would cover 950 types of medical treatment as against the previous government's scheme of 642 types, Jayalalithaa said, as she hit out at DMK, saying its scheme had benefited only private insurance firms and private hospitals.
"Under the new scheme, a family can avail medical benefits of up to Rs four lakh for four years while it was Rs one lakh for four years according to the previous scheme," she said.
The new scheme also allots Rs 1.50 lakh per year for some specific diseases, Jayalalithaa said in a statement.
The Kalaignar Insurance Scheme, named after the then Chief Minister M Karunanidhi by the DMK regime, had envisaged offering medical services free of cost to persons with annual income of Rs 72,000.
Jayalalithaa said expenses on certain tests prior to and after surgeries would also be covered under the new scheme, "which were not there in the previous scheme."
Jayalalithaa, without naming the Kalaignar Insurance Scheme, said it had fallen short of meeting people's health needs completely.
After assuming power, Jayalalithaa had discarded the flagship scheme of the previous DMK regime that of supplying colour TV sets free of cost, besides freezing construction of the New Assembly Complex, pending enquiry.
Her government has set up an Enquiry Commission to probe into alleged irregularities and "inordinate delay," in construction of the near Rs 1,000 crore structure.
The Jayalalilthaa government had announced in the Governor's address on July 3 that a new insurance scheme to achieve quality medical services for all would be launched.
The scheme would be expanded to government hospitals to ensure delivery of better medical services, she said, adding they would also be provided the full amount like private hospitals.
"Further, some treatment will be available only in government hospitals. Special wards will be created for this purpose, thus making more people utilize the services of government-run hospitals," she said.
With the new scheme likely to take some time to be introduced, status quo would continue for certain life-saving treatments in private hospitals, she said, adding the government would directly pay expenses for these treatments to the respective hospitals.