Health of the Poor in Ill-health

  • The health of the poor at stake
  • Implementation of Aarogyasri neglected right from the
  • Conspiracy to shelf a
    people-friendly scheme

Hyderabad: Since CM Chandrababu Naidu was back from his tour to China,
he started application and implementation of Chinese proverbs. As an ancient
proverb goes, a dog has to be marked mad if it has to be killed. Chandrababu
has decided to apply this to the schemes introduced, implemented and
accomplished by the previous Governments. He is getting ready to put Aarogyasri (Dr. NTR Vaidya Seva) scheme on the shelf.

boon to the poor

Aarogyasri was a
scheme introduced by ex.CM of Andhra Pradesh Dr. YS Rajasekhar Reddy to take
care of the health needs of the poor. As part of this, white ration card
holders were treated for their ailments under health insurance scheme. Lakhs of
poor people in the state got health insurance because of this. Dr. YSR was soon
worshipped as God for providing this opportunity. Naturally, this caused envy
in Chandrababu Naidu.

after coming to power

was decided to change the name of the scheme in order for them to easily divert
its benefits. Aarogyasri scheme became NTR Vaidya Seva scheme. The number of health
services included under this increased. But the funds allocated to this were
cut down to a great extent. With this, payment to hospitals for the services
taken by the patients got affected. Hence, hospitals in many places stopped
accepting patients who would want to utilize the scheme. Threat of permanently shelving
the scheme is expressed everywhere.


It is heard that the Government is intentionally delaying bill
payment to the hospitals. Superspeciality hospital union leaders reveal that a
payment of Rs.350 crore is still pending. Due to the Government’s indifference
to repeated pleas, the hospitals came to a strong decision. They are planning
to cease the health services unless the pending bills are paid. On the other
hand, health minister Kamineni Srinivas is taking this very easy. He has
announced that the bills would be paid by the 15th of next month and
that services would continue. Poor patients are very concerned about this.

It is criticized that this is in fact what Chandrababu’s
Government wants. It is argued that this scheme is being the target of demolition
as it had brought reputation to Dr.YSR. Cut down of fund allocation to the scheme
in the budget and delay in bill payment to the hospitals are adding to this
criticism. Apparently the aim of the Government is to create dissatisfaction
and discouragement in people towards the scheme. Recent happenings show why
Chandrababu has been citing Chinese proverbs.

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