Guwahati, October 23, 2019:
Assam’s Finance and Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma announced on Wednesday that the health assurance scheme, Atal Amrit Abhiyan (AAA), will seek to eliminate the deadly disease cancer. The Minister also informed that Assam reports 30,000 new cases of cancer annually.
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Biswa Sarma, highlighting the fight against the ’emperor of all maladies’, said, “Around 80,000 cases of cancer are there in Assam, out of which, 30,000 new cases are reported every year. The AAA scheme will aid the cancer patients in availing cashless treatment.”
He also opined that around 1.6 crore people in total have already been brought in under the scheme, and the beneficiaries are expected to double soon.
The Minister announced that the scheme will now cover six additional diseases and critical care such as Japanese Encephalitis (JE), non-cancer bone marrow transplantation and admission in intensive care unit (ICU).
“Six more diseases and scenarios have been added to the Expanded Atal Amrit Abhiyan,” announced Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. ICU packages, trauma, critical care paediatrics and paediatric surgery, bone marrow transplantation, JE and Acute Encephalitis Syndrome are the ones included in the AAA in order to support people with cashless insurance benefits, he added.
The AAA scheme which was launched in 2016, provided health insurance benefits to as many as 60,000 people. The state government of Assam had allotted Rs. 140 Crore to help the beneficiaries with their treatment.
The expanded scheme which aims to cater to below poverty line (BPL) and above poverty line (APL) people will provide cashless treatment in the ICU upto Rs. two lakh. The amount will remain the same for the JE and Acute Encephalitis Syndrome. The critical paediatric surgeries for upto 14 years have also be included under the AAA scheme.
Sarma also said that hospitals in Guwahati have tied up with the Government’s AAA scheme. However, the scheme will be applicable from December 1 in all the Government-run hospitals. “In private hospitals, it will take another 30 days,” he added.
Sarma, while speaking on the lines of rising JE cases in Assam, said, “We have lost 154 deaths to JE. We have allotted around Rs. 25 lakhs for JE vaccines. However, the vaccines have to be imported from China. The full set of vaccines will arrive by July 2020.”
The Assam Health Minister further also informed about the development of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Changsari and new Cancer Hospital. “30% of the project has been completed. We expect to start it from 2021.” He added that Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has also started the construction of first phase of the seven new cancer hospitals in Assam.
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