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Bengaluru: The government is contemplating on merging all the existing health schemes to bring beneficiaries under a single umbrella.

At present, there are several health schemes including Vajpayee Arogyashree, Rajiv Arogya Bhagya and Rashtriya Swasthya Karyakram under the department of health and family welfare. Also, there is Yashaswini scheme under the co-operation department.

According to sources with the private hospitals association, the minister has assured this would address several issues such as duplication of BPL cards and overlap of beneficiaries.

Shalini Rajaneesh, principal secretary, department of health and family welfare, confirmed that there was a proposal to introduce a single scheme to cover all.

“As per World Health Organisation guidelines, by 2030, we must achieve universal health coverage. On these lines, bringing everyone irrespective of caste, creed or economic class becomes important. Hence, the proposal,” she said.

The government will provide health cards to all, which would comprise their previous health records, family details. The same will be linked to Aadhaar card. Linking this to Aadhaar will avoid duplication.

These beneficiaries will be eligible to avail treatment either in government or private hospitals. Patients will have to go to government hospitals first and later, to private hospitals.

Shalini said the Union government has, on these lines, come out with a draft of the ‘national health protection scheme,’ wherein the poor will be given health assurance of up to Rs 1 lakh. This would work as a foundation for universal health coverage.

Government of India has sought that Karnataka begin these projects in Mysuru and Raichur on a pilot basis. The scheme proposes secondary and tertiary care, wherein the state will bear 40% of the expenditure and the central government the rest.

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