Free medical treatment for senior citizens
As per the unverified information available in public domain, many developed and developing countries have been providing either free medical treatment including medicines and hospitalisation or on subsidised cost, to their senior citizens. However, specific details of such schemes/policies are not available with the Health Ministry.
The Government of India had launched National Programme for Health Care of the Elderly (NPHCE) during 2010-11 with a view to provide separate and specialized comprehensive health care facilities to senior citizens at various levels of state health care delivery system including outreach services. The health care facilities, being provided under this programme, are either free or highly subsidised.
The major activities of the NPHCE are:-
i) Setting up of Geriatric department in identified Regional Geriatric Centres (RGCs) with OPD care services and 30 bedded Geriatric ward for providing indoor services. RGCs will also undertake PG Courses in Geriatric for developing Human Resource
ii) Setting up of 10 bedded Geriatric units at all District Hospitals that will provide indoor services for elderly during hospitalisation.
iii) Establishment of Rehabilitation unit at all Community Health Centres (CHCs) and Geriatric clinic twice/week.
iv) Setting up weekly Geriatric clinic by trained medical Officer at Primary Health Centres (PHCs).
Apart from this, Government of India has launched a Senior Citizen Health Insurance scheme with effect from 01.04.2016, as a top up scheme of Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna (RSBY). The scheme will provide health coverage to senior citizen who are aged 60 years and above belonging to BPL category. Under this scheme, the health coverage is for Rs. 30,000/- per annum per senior citizen for treatment packages, over and above RSBY entitlement. The scheme would be cashless and run on the RSBY platform as an add-on cover. The add-on cover of Rs. 30,000/- per senior citizen will be for treatment of senior citizen only. Senior citizen are also eligible for cover under the primary RSBY on family floater basis of Rs. 30,000/-.
It is further added that Public Health is a State subject Under the National Health Mission, support is provided to States/UTs for provision of drugs free of cost to all those who access public health facilities including the elderly population.
The Health Minister, Shri J P Nadda stated this in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha here today.