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Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (National Health Insurance Scheme)

According to a report released in February 2010 by Independent Commission on Development and Health in India, about 250 million Indians who live just above the poverty line slip back into poverty if they face just one health crisis. India’s hospitalization costs have sky-rocketed in urban areas by 126% and in rural areas by 78% between 1995 and 2004.India in the first use of its technology prowess have under taken such a massive national social security programme.

In 26 months RSBY has enrolled more than 60 million people in 22 states by next year that should double to 100 million. This scheme accepts five people per family where they can access nearly 5000 public and private hospitals across India produce the RSBY card and get healthcare. The procedure is simple with production of ration card, the thump prints are scanned, photos are taken and family is covered up to Rs 30,000 under the programme. It costs Rs4500 crore a year to fund RSBY a drop in the Rs 1.36 lakh crore that India will spend on social –security schemes in 2010-11.The states are actively taking part as the centre takes 75% of the premium which is roughly Rs 450 per person per year.

It is India’s first social –security scheme that embraces a profit motive involving 20 insurance companies, private and public hospitals, state governments and the centre each acting as a check on the other. More than 15 countries have studied RSBY.The World Bank is bringing it to global attention as the largest use of smart cards to provide the poor with nationwide health insurance.RSBY cards are issued within two hours of the first fingerprint. The issuing team has laptops, webcameras, fingerprint readers, smart-card printers and a generator to a void electricity cuts. In most states cards are issued on BPL lists made in 2002.

There are some problems like quality of care, availability of hospitals in backward states like Orissa or Jharkhand, managing the huge database and complex backend and first and foremost Indian tendency to cheat. Still in spite of all this ,RSBY is proving to be a boon for millions who can now access health care facilities.

Other Development News in India


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