Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
31-August-2012 18:01 IST
Free Treatment of BPL People
Health is a state subject and it is the primary responsibility of the State Governments to make necessary arrangement for providing free treatment to the people below poverty line suffering from various diseases including mental disorder or diabetes at the Government hospitals.

So far as the Central Government is concerned, financial assistance is provided to patients, living below poverty line (BPL) who are suffering from major life threatening diseases from Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi (RAN) to receive medical treatment at any government hospitals/institutes and super specialty government hospitals and institutes. Recently mental disorders and diabetes have been included under RAN. The financial assistance to such patients is released in the form of ‘one time grant’ to the medical superintendant of government hospital in which the treatment is being received.

In addition, funds have been provided to 123 Districts across 30 States/UTs for implementation of District Mental Health Programme, a component of National Mental Health Programme for treatment of mentally ill persons, irrespective of their status as APL or BPL. Treatment of the mentally ill persons is either free or at a very nominal cost as decided by concerned state government/UT administration. No additional/exclusive funds have been released to government hospitals/super specialities hospitals to provide free treatment to below poverty line suffering from mental disorder under this Scheme.

Central Government is also implementing National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS) for all people including BPL people in 100 selected districts of 21 States during 2010-12 with an aim to reduce the burden of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) including diabetes. Under this programme, the population of above 30 years of age are screened for Diabetes and Hypertension at Sub-Centres. The suspected cases are referred to the Community Health Centres (CHCs)/District Hospitals for further confirmation/treatment.

In so far as three Central Government hospitals namely Safdarjung Hospital, Dr. RML Hospital and Lady Harding Medical College and its associated hospitals are concerned, the treatment is provided free of cost to BPL patients. No additional funds are allocated to these Hospitals specifically for treatment of the patients suffering from Diabetes and mental disorder and the expenditure incurred on such treatment is met from overall sanctioned budget grant of these Hospitals.

The above information was given by the Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad in the Lok Sabha today.