State integrates Ayushman Bharath with Arogya Karnataka

Bengaluru: The state government has integrated the centrally sponsored Ayushman Bharath scheme with the Karnataka government's Arogya Karnataka initiative, enabling people with below poverty line (BPL) cards to avail medical assistance up to Rs 5 lakh per year.

Speaking to reporters here on Thursday, Water Resources Minister D.K. Shivakumar said the state government signed an MoU on October 31, which will help poor people to avail the medical facilities. Within the first 11 days after signing the MoU, already 2,931 operations have been conducted under this scheme across the state.

The government has directed the affiliated private hospitals to take up cases even without cards. The new scheme will be extended to around 4.4 crore people belonging to around 1.2 crore BPL families, Mr Shivakumar said.

At the moment, 531 private hospitals, along with 385 government hospitals are affiliated under this scheme. Barring an emergency, the beneficiaries should exhaust the option of government hospitals before going to private hospitals. Apart from Karnataka, for people living in border areas of the state, the government has entered into agreement with around 36 hospitals in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.

While the Centre bears 60% of the cost, the state contribution to the scheme is 40%. Around 1,614 type of diseases come under this scheme.

DKs ducks query on statue

Having criticised the Sardar Vallabhai Patel statue in Gujarat, the state  government now finds itself in an awkward spot over its own plans to install a 125 ft. tall Cauvery statue at KRS dam in Mysuru.

Asked about the statue on Thursday, Minister  D K Shivakumar ducked the question, merely recalling that the coalition government had promised to develop the Brindavan Gardens at KRS on the lines of Disney Land. “There will be a model street showcasing all places of tourism, historical and cultural interest in the state. It will be developed on a PPP basis over 300 acres around KRS. We plan to float global tenders for developing the theme park and the financial modalities will be worked out  on the lines of the Kempegowda International Airport,” Mr Shivakumar told reporters here.

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