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Karnataka May Come on Board National Health Insurance Scheme

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ayushman Bharat, the National Health Protection Scheme, is hopeful that the central government will sign a MoU with Karnataka in a week so that the state comes on board the project. According to Indu Bhushan, the CEO, the state has been given the flexibility by Ayushman Bharat to match the package rates under Arogya Karnataka wherever it is lesser. “We are hoping to sign an MoU with the Karnataka government on September 6 or 7 for implementing Ayushman Bharat in the state. The state government, if it wishes to, can choose to match the package rates with those offered under the state health scheme, Arogya Karnataka, wherever our rates are less.”

He added that the Center will be offering the state around ₹390 crore. The state is spending ₹765 crore for Arogya Karnataka to cover 1.43 crore families in the state. However, when asked to confirm the development, state Health Secretary Jawaid Akhtar said he could not comment on the rates. “The file has been put up. The negotiations are going on as they offer 1354 packages and we cover 1516 procedures. The important thing is that we have agreed to integrate the schemes and work together.”

“For diagnostic tests like CT/MRI, ECHO, ECG, TMT, Angiogram and simple blood tests that are not covered under Ayushman Bharat, hospitals will incur significant charges over a period of time that will make it difficult for them to sustain,” said Dr C N Manjunath, Director, Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences. He was speaking along the sidelines of a panel discussion here on Ayushman Bharat: How to make it viable? at the National School of Journalism on Saturday. However, health department sources said user charges are given as part of package rate in Ayushman Bharat and offering coverage for them separately will encourage unnecessary diagnostic tests in empaneled hospitals. – New Indian Express