With the budgetary allocation for the health insurance scheme for urban poor and civic staff almost exhausted, the health department of the PMC has sought an additional Rs 8 crore to meet the expenditure till the end of March.
The civic administration has demanded Rs 4 crore each for meeting the expenditure on the health insurance of urban poor and civic staff, working as well as retired. “The standing committee of the PMC has accepted the demand and made Rs 8 crore available to the civic administration,” said Hemant Rasane, chairperson of the standing committee.
The PMC made a budgetary provision of Rs 40.50 crore to pay the medical bills of working and retired civic staff and their family members in hospitals empanelled with the civic body. An additional Rs 1 crore was also earlier made available, but the amount was insufficient.
“The PMC has spent Rs 40.35 crore till January 27 towards medical expenditure of civic staff and their families. An additional Rs 4 crore will be required to meet the expenditure for the purpose till the end of March,” said Additional Municipal Commissioner Rubal Agarwal in the proposal.
According to the health insurance scheme for the urban poor, the PMC enrols slum residents with annual income of maximum Rs 1 lakh by charging them an annual fee of Rs 200 per family. The civic body pays their medical bills for treatment for serious ailments at private hospitals empanelled with the PMC.
The PMC made a budgetary provision of Rs 42 crore for meeting the expenditure under the health insurance scheme and the entire allocation has been exhausted, while an additional Rs 11.99 crore was spent on paying bills for the treatment of Covid-19 patients. Further, the civic administration also has pending bills worth Rs 2 crore.
Residents of the newly merged 11 villages have also enrolled themselves under the scheme for urban poor, and this has resulted in an increase in the number of patients while rates of medical treatment have also increased. There is also an increase in the number of patients suffering from ailments related to kidney, heart and cancer. The budgetary allocation was insufficient due to an increase in the expenditure for the treatment of Covid-19 patients.
The civic administration is facing a shortage of funds for the implementation of the health scheme over the past few years and seeking additional funds to meet the increased expenditure. Thus, the administration is now planning to rope in insurance companies to execute the scheme for the civic body.