Long wait at govt facility, Get free surgery at pvt hospital


New Delhi: Lieutenant governor Anil Baijal on Tuesday approved the government's scheme 'quality health for all'. It pertains to providing patients specified, high-end diagnostic (radiological) tests and surgeries for free at private hospitals, in case of delay in government facilities. 

Sources said the decision was taken following a meeting between the LG and chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, during which the latter stressed on the need to make it applicable to all. 

Earlier, on December 29, the LG had advised the government to retain some 'income ceiling' so that the resources of the government were used to help the poor and the needy and the "poor are not crowded out by the wellto-do". Kejriwal had then said that if income criteria was introduced, it would practically 'kill' the scheme. 

Health minister Satyendar Jain also contested the LG's advice saying there were needy people and those who might fall above the ceiling limit too were taxpayers, so no one should be restricted from availing the services. "We cannot differentiate between the poor and the rich while providing medicines to them for their wellness," he had said. 

Following the LG nod, Kejriwal took to twitter to announce the development on Tuesday. "Hon'ble @LtGovDelhi approves 'Quality Health for all' scheme without income criteria. Thank u so much sir," he wrote. 

Government officials said the scheme for free of cost surgery or high end diagnostic tests in private facilities was necessitated as Delhi is one of the fastest growing metropolis with a population of more than 16 million and medical institutions in government sector have limited resources. 

"It is important to provide all facilities in government hospitals, but till such time, patients with acute medical ailments cannot be left at the mercy of private hospitals. Therefore, the Delhi government came up with the scheme of getting these tests and surgeries done without any waiting list. The government is bearing the cost of these tests/surgeries," said an official. 

Under this scheme, the government is currently facilitating 52 specified surgeries free of cost at private hospitals in Delhi/NCR. There is no income limit for residents of Delhi, those who are allotted a date of surgery after 30 days of diagnosis at one of the 24 specified government hospitals in the city may avail the scheme. Besides Aadhar cards, patients can submit voter ID or driving licence as proof of Delhi address to avail the services. 

The scheme for free surgery and tests was started last year and an official added that more than 12,000 people have already availed the benefits.