Govt Launches State Illness Assistance Fund

Health Minister L Jayantakumar during launch of the MSIAF scheme

IMPHAL, Feb 21: with the stated objective of providing succor to patients belonging to the Below Poverty Line section of the society, the Government today launched The Manipur State illness Assistance Fund (MSIAF).

The official MSIAF launch program was held at the conference hall of New Secretariat Minister Block in the presence of Health Minister L Jayantakumar, Commissioner (Health) Vumlunmang Vualnam, Director (Health Ser- vices) Dr S Ibomcha and senior doctors.

Under the scheme a patient belonging to the BPL family with an annual income of Rs 20,000 will be entitled one time assistance of Rs 1 lakh as reimbursement of cost incurred in treatment.

The ailments eligible for receiving assistance under the MSIAF scheme will be cardiology & cardiac surgery, cancer, urology, nephrology, gastroenterology, orthopedics, all major surgeries and medical investigations.

Delivering the key-note address, Commissioner (Health) Vumlunmang informed that the assistance may be availed by all patients of BPL families only when the treatment was at Jawaharlal Nehru institute of Medical Sciences, Regional Institute of Medical Sciences and other Government hospitals.

While application for availing the assistance is supposed to be submitted in the prescribed MSIAF format to the office of the Directorate of Health Services at Lamphelpat, the Screening Committee constituted in the Directorate would examine the applications and forward a report to the Management Committee of MSIAF indicating expenditures eligible for reimbursement, the Commissioner explained.

He also stated that the Management Committee headed by the Chief Secretary would meet once a month for consideration of the application(s) and approval.

It is also informed that Government of Manipur has already earmarked Rs 4 crores for the MSIAF and that the Central Government has been urged to release 50 percent of the remaining allotment. Speaking at the occasion, Health Minister L Jayantakumar conveyed that Govt of India had launched Illness Assistance Fund in six States in 1996 and that Manipur was included among some other left-out States for floating the noble scheme. Confiding that out of the total of Rs 4 crores sanctioned by the Centre for the scheme Rs 2 crores have been released to the state, the Minister also stated that the assistance may be availed through all the Axis bank branches. Further informing that the facilities would be extended only after furnishing of relevant documents such as health check-up bill and authentication by the consultant doctor by BPL card holders. according to a source in the Rural development and Panchayati Raj dept, Thoubal district has BPL population of 39,144; Ukhrul 12,136; Tamenglong 8934; Imphal east 27,565;  Churachandpur 9276; Imphal West 23,877; Senapati 21,654; Chandel 9641; and Bishnupur 17,025.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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