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What ails Chief Minister gi Haksel gi Tengbang !

Though the health care scheme Chief Minister Gi Haksel Tengbang (CMHT) is named after the chief minister but we should remember that the scheme has to do with public money and health care for the public.  Therefore, we, as a people, must be vigilant about how the scheme is doing. Health care schemes are always appreciated given that more than thirty-six percent of Manipur’s population live below the poverty line, according to the most recent poverty estimates.
First, we should look into how much information on the scheme is publicly and readily available on the scheme. For this, we can look into the website of the scheme. In the website, if we go to the details of the scheme, it is introduced as “ by producing the CMHT-Manipur Health card at the empanelled hospitals, a beneficiary can get cashless treatment without making any payment to the empanelled hospitals up to Rs. 2 lakhs for secondary and tertiary health care per year per enrolled family on floater basis.” So, the scheme is not for primary health care such as cough or cold, it has to do with specialised treatment and more serious illness given that scheme clearly mentions it is for secondary and tertiary health care.
It further adds that “the benefit will be applicable on hospitalization and certain day care procedures only. This capped benefit of Rs 2 Lakhs will include the capped travel and daily allowance. Maximum cover per family is of Rs 2 Lakhs. The total benefit will be admissible up to the ceiling amount of Rs 2 Lakhs per year per family including transport and daily allowances.” However, a recent Imphal Times news report on CMHT points out that there is a per day cap, even for serious illness. The news report states that CMHT’s counter in JNIMS informed the patient that there is a cap of one thousand five hundred rupees per day. She was informed that she could not buy the medicine as the cost of the medicine was way more than the per day cap. The patient later informed Imphal Times that the concerned doctor even requested that the medicine should be given to the patient. But, CMHT’s counter denied it. It is quite surprising that information on the per day cap is not mentioned in the government website for this scheme.  It does not seem to be  publicly and  readily available information.  More importantly, when we are dealing with secondary and tertiary care in this scheme.  Furthermore, there should be a health coordinator to help the patient in the whole process of treatment and coordinate with the medical officer for the good of the patient. However, it is quite evident that such assistance was not offered to the patient, as per the recent report on CMHT in Imphal Times.
The report also claimed that the doctor referred some basic tests to a private diagnostic centre. Whether a person who is already under economic duress and carrying a CMHT card should be asked to go to a private diagnostic centre, given that the government claims to have these facilities in the government hospitals.  What does the scheme say on this ? It is unclear on the matter. Further, the website mentions if the treatment happens within Manipur then there is a “transport allowance (Rs.300 per visit) subject to an annual ceiling of Rs.3000 included in the total coverage of Rs.2 Lakhs per family.”  If the claim that there is a cap of one thousand five hundred rupees per day then the question comes that whether the travel allowance for each  visit is included in this per day cap or not.There is a lot of confusion here.
These are the issues that we face when we look at this scheme. Though a scheme for healthcare, especially for the poor, is an excellent thing on its own but it should also be carried forward well. The actions should reflect the intentions. Therefore, we should do away with these issues and implement the scheme in its true spirit.

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 15+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents. Rinku can be contacted at [email protected] 

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