According to the Public Health department-Directorate of Health Services in the government of Goa, the ‘Deen Dayal Swaastaya Seva’ was established in the year 2016 under the administration of the United India Insurance Company. It aimed at providing health insurance to the entire population of Goa dwelling for more than five years in the state. The scheme supervises quality medical care and treatment of diseases, hospitalization, and surgery through Government and private hospitals.
The Directorate of health services states, “The Health Insurance could be an innovative way of overcoming financial handicaps, improving access to quality medical care and providing financial protection against high medical expenses to the people in the State of Goa.”
Goa is the first state to have a health insurance scheme. During the tenure of implementation, it was clearly mentioned that the scheme will benefit all residents of the state irrespective of their financial status. According to Sarkari Yojana, under the Deen Dayal Swasthya Seva Yojana (DDSSY), a family of up to 3 members will be provided with an insurance cover of Rs. 2.5 Lakh while the family of 4 or more members will be provided with a cover of 4 Lakh.
In the recent time, according to sources from ‘Goa 24×7’, the Deen Dayal Swaastaya Seva Yojana Scheme’ has been slammed at hospitals due to delayed payments from the government. The unjustified issue has led to harassment of the admitted patients. The hospital denies the acceptance of the Deen Dayal cards that actually covers 2.20 lakh Goan households.
The Scheme was launched in September 2016 by the BJP government led by then CM Laxmikant Parsekar who claimed that Deen Dayal is an implementation made by ‘United India Insurance Company’.
According to Business Standards article on December 21, 2018, the scheme aimed to provide insurance cover for Goans in medical treatment and certain procedures.
Unfortunately, problems began to engulf when the scheme was about to expire in February 2018, thus the flagship medical scheme decided to re-float as per statements made by Balkrishna Pai (state government consultant for DDSS) on Health world: economic times. He said, “While the current scheme covers 447 procedures, it will be increased to 460 in the new tender. The insurance firm’s contract expires in February this year. The new contract will be for a period of three years”.
However, even after the extension of the health scheme complaints have been argued upon. In an adjacent case, a local whose father was admitted to the hospital was not informed that the medical center doesn’t accept the Deen Dayal Swastaya Card (due to late payments from the government).
According to Babusab Shaikh, the resident of St. Inez, he had to pay a huge sum to the hospital due to the failure of the scheme. “After my father being admitted for three days at the hospital, without informing us they extended the days and the bill came up to 88,600/- rupees. I told them we had the Health Card provided by the government, but to our horror, we were instructed to pay the amount as the cards are not accepted by this hospital. They said that because of the huge amount of outstanding bills to be paid by the government they have stopped accepting the card”.
In the above case, the patient and his family have faced injustice by being held accountable. The contract of the Health Scheme was signed between the government and the private hospitals, thus the mess should be settled by the two signed parties. As per the complaints, it is an unethical business at the hospitals to hoax the patients. A prior notice or appraisal should be initiated by the hospital in the disapproval of the card before admitting the patients.
But according to information provided by The Navhind Times on May 2nd, 2018, it has been known that the Goa Government is waiting for the response from ‘United India Insurance Company Ltd’ on the renewal of the ‘Deen Dayal Swasthiya Seva Yojana’. The government stated to the NT, “If the contract ‘fails to get an extension’ then the people availing the services under the scheme may have to pay from their pocket till the new contract is finalized.”
Locals with the card in possession have been stressed lately due to the complications built. Some residents are even unaware of the delayed UIIC Ltd contract extension and are confused about whose fault it’s supposed to be.
The Government is currently depending on the UIIC Ltd on the progression of the Deen Dayal Scheme. The contract was terminated on 30th April and the month of May the government had requested the UIIC to extend the contract. Therefore, until the provision is reinstated, the cardholders of the DDSSY are going to face serious financial problems. Sources say that soon after the contract has resumed, the private hospitals under the scheme would get their fees compensated and regulated.
The uncertainty lies in the essence of whose responsibility it actually is when it comes to the contract renewal. At least, an heed management should be followed where the private hospitals under the scheme mention on their forms or notice boards that the scheme is on hold at the moment due to the pending renewal period.