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CMHT needs to be reviewed ; a lesson learnt from JNIMS

A good initiative sometimes brings bad name to the government if the policy frame for implementation of any good programme is not properly framed. We can take the example of CMHT, a scheme that the Chief Minister of Manipur N. Biren Singh launched on January 21, 2018 with great enthusiasm to help the poor people who cannot afford medical expenses at time of illness. Among the CMHT card holders, except some near and dear one of influential people, there are many who felt unhappy while going to government hospitals or any other empanelled private hospital as don’t meet the expectation that they assumed as per the facilities announced by the Chief Minister. As per a statement by Chief Minister N. Biren Singh , a total of 3,68,684 people of the state have been enrolled and distributed CMHT card. Among this a total of 12,624 CMHT card holders have been treated with an expense of Rs. 16 crore. The Chief Minister announced this during a press conference held on December 27, 2019.
Hardly, no person underwent treatment with CMHT card complaint, but this does not mean that the patient undergone treatment using CMHT cards are satisfied. The reason obviously is the fear of the patient party that they may not be treated properly if any complaints are made to them. Above these most CMHT beneficiaries are poor people who have no knowledge about the benefit of CMHT.
Imphal Times had reported regarding this matter about a patient holding CMHT card on Jan 12, 2020 under the heading “Fooled by CMHT At JNIMS - CMHT card holder patients cannot spent more than Rs. 1500/- a day; Consultants sent patient to private clinic for KFT, LFT and Eco test. 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.  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 matter was enquired by the CMHT implementing agencies and found that there is serious loophole in the implementation of the CMHT.
Following this incident Medical Superintend of the JN Hospital circulated an order to Arogya Mitra and MEDCOs , that is implementing the CMHT to visit the hospital wards twice everyday at morning and evening preferably at 9.30 am and 5.00 pm. The JNIMS authority also circulated another notice to ensure maximum benefit to the CMHT/AB-PMJAY card holder patients. The initiative needs to be appreciated. And every hospitals needs to take this matter seriously as incidents of this kind may bring bad name to the auspicious CMHT programme.
As some loopholes in the implementation of the CMHT is notice it is time the Chief Minister review meeting of the implementation of this auspicious scheme to make sure that the poor gets the benefit of CMHT.

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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