Jaipur, May 1 (PTI) Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Saturday said the time has come to provide comprehensive social security to the needy, helpless and deprived people, like in developed countries, to facilitate healthy and dignified living and to bridge the gap of rich and poor.
He said the Chief Minister Chiranjeevi Health Insurance Scheme of the Rajasthan government is a 'historic step' in this direction so that people of the state do not have to worry about the huge expense of treatment.
The ambitious scheme of the Rajasthan government, which provides annual cashless insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh to every family, came into effect on Saturday.
The Rajasthan government has fulfilled its budget announcement by implementing the ''Mukhyamantri Chiranjeevi Swasthya Bima Yojna'', an official statement said.
The chief minister said Rajasthan is the leading state in the country in providing universal health insurance with the aim of extending health protection to every citizen.
'We have implemented the Chiranjeevi Swasthya Bima scheme in the direction of giving right to health to the people. Other state and central governments may also consider such a scheme,' Gehlot said in a statement.
Gehlot said registration of all family members is necessary to avail the benefits of the health insurance scheme. For this, the registration date has been increased from April 30 to May 31, he said.
Inaugurating the free coronavirus vaccination campaign for the people aged 18-45 in Rajasthan, the chief minister said there has been a history that vaccination has always been done free of cost to prevent pandemics.
'We had strongly demanded the Centre to make COVID-19 vaccination free of cost for all age groups in India, but the state government itself would bear the financial burden of Rs 3,000 crore if the demand was not met by the central government. There is also a plan to provide free vaccination to the age group of 18-45,' the chief minister said.
Gehlot said the state government is working hard to treat patients, but the chain of infection cannot be broken without the cooperation of the people. He appealed to the people to strictly follow the guidelines issued by the state government from time to time to prevent the spread of the virus.
Medical and Health Minister Raghu Sharma said the unique health insurance scheme does not require any health check-up at the time of registration, capping on number of members in a family, and benefits will be available from the day of registration.
Minister of State for Medicine, Subhash Garg, said that despite the lack of financial resources due to the COVID-19 crisis, the chief minister has launched the Chiranjeevi Yojna and free immunisation for those aged above 18 to keep the people of the state safe. An amount of Rs 6,500 crore will be spent on both these schemes, he said.
Chief Secretary Niranjan Arya said under the Chiranjeevi Yojna, National Food Security, Socio Economic Census-2011, small and marginal farmers, contractual and honorarium workers have been provided free insurance. Remaining families will get the benefit of this scheme at an annual premium of only Rs 850.
Health Secretary Siddharth Mahajan informed that the scheme, with a cost of Rs 3,500 crore, includes 1,576 types of packages including serious diseases like heart, cancer, kidney, dialysis and COVID-19. Free medical facility up to Rs 5 lakh will be available on admission in 765 government and more than 330 affiliated private hospitals of the state.
The chief minister launched the website of the scheme and interacted with the youth in the age group of 18 and above, who were vaccinated in Jaipur, Ajmer and Jodhpur. PTI AG CK