Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan hailed the state’s public health policies after it won the Arogya Manthan 2022 award for the highest number of free medical treatments.
“Kerala’s public health soars to new heights as we won the award at #ArogyaManthan2022 for providing the highest number of free medical treatments. So far, through the Karunya Arogya Suraksha Padhathi (KASP), Kerala has spent ₹1636.07 CR for the treatment of 43.4 lakh beneficiaries [sic],” stated Pinarayi Vijayan in his tweet on the night of Monday, 26 September.
At an event in New Delhi on Monday, Kerala’s Health Minister Veena George received the award from Union Minister for Health Mansukh Mandaviya.
The event was organised to mark four years of Ayushman Bharat-PMJAY (Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojna) and one year of the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission.
Recognition for Kerala’s public health policies
The Kerala Model Development is critically acclaimed for the state’s performance in the Human Development Index (HDI).
Kerala’s healthcare project Karunya Arogya Suraksha Padhathi (KASP), which provided free treatment to 43.4 lakh people over the last four years, was hailed at the event.
KASP aims to provide a health cover of up to ₹5 lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary-care hospitalisation.
The project helps poor and vulnerable families belonging to the bottom 40 percent of the state’s population.
On Tuesday, the state’s health minister Veena George posted on Facebook regarding the recognition of the state’s efforts by the union government.
She said in her post that currently, KASP’s services are available in 200 government hospitals and 544 private hospitals in Kerala.
According to George, KASP helps three patients every minute and 180 patients an hour, and the state intends to extend the services of the project to the maximum number of people in Kerala.
Karunya Benevolent Fund (KBF)
The Karunya Benevolent Fund of the Kerala government provides financial assistance to poor people suffering from serious health issues.
The fund is managed by the State Lotteries Department (Taxes) and the money is raised from the revenue received through the sale of the Kerala lottery.
The scheme helps eligible people, who are suffering from acute ailments like cancer, haemophilia, and kidney and heart diseases, and also those who need palliative care.
On Monday, during the closing day of the two-day Arogya Manthan 2022 event in New Delhi, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said: “There should be no space for fraud in AB-PMJAY, which aims for the healthcare of the poorest of society. We need to use all available technology tools to remove even the smallest scope for any fraud.”
Besides Mandaviya and George, NITI Aayog member Dr VK Paul was also present at the event.