Amaravati: Extending the Aarogyasri health scheme cover to the poor for any treatment exceeding Rs 1,000 to six more districts, Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy said that the scope of the welfare scheme would be widened further in the coming days and asserted that Andhra Pradesh is the only state in the country to include Covid-19 treatment in Aarogyasri list.

During the video conference with the district collectors, while formally announcing the extension of Aarogyasri scheme to six more districts, the CM said the state has been taking all steps to contain Covid-19 and has brought its treatment under Aarogyasri since April and that other states were emulating it.

On January 3, this year, the pilot project of the Aarogyasri scheme was launched in West Godavari district to provide medical cover for any medical treatment which costs Rs 1,000 or more. The scheme was extended to Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam, Guntur, Prakasam, YSR Kadapa and Kurnool districts from today.

The Chief Minister said that the scope of Aarogyasri is being widened extensively and the scheme is applicable to those whose annual income is up to Rs 5 lakh. The state will introduce a grading system for hospitals and there will be a revamp of the government hospitals under Nadu-Nedu, he said.

Payment of all Aarogyasri bills should be expedited through the green channel, he told the officials. The state has cleared the previous government’s dues to network hospitals worth Rs 680 crore. The Government has included ailments like cancer and a cochlear implant in Aarogyasri.

AP distributed 1.42 crore Aarogyasri cards and the number of ailments covered under the scheme was increased from 1,059 during the previous government term to 2,200. The state will soon have 27 teaching hospitals and 500 types of medicines supplied in them would be of WHO standards.

The CM instructed the district collectors to concentrate on containing the spread of Covid-19 as we have to live with it till the vaccine is in the market. Awareness should be created about the safety measures to be followed to contain the infection and also its symptoms. People should be made to know where the COVID testing centres have been set up, he said.

About 80 per cent of the cases can recover by observing home quarantine and for those who do not have isolation facility at home, they can be admitted to COVID Care Centres. As the district borders are opened, there is a possibility of a spike in the number of cases and hence, the collectors should take effective steps, he said.

“To provide medical facilities in all the mandals, the state government bought 1,088 ambulances pertaining to 108 and 104 services, with state-of-the-art technology. The YSRC government is also providing Rs 5,000 per month to the patients as post-surgery allowance for the rest period prescribed by the doctor,” he claimed. The state will soon establish 13,000 YSR Village Clinics with 54 types of medicines and one ANM for providing medical services in each clinic, he said.

Jagan Mohan Reddy said that YSR Kanti Velugu had given him immense satisfaction as 65 lakh students had undergone eye tests under the scheme. Among them, 1.58 lakh children were prescribed eyeglasses and the state supplied spectacles to 1.29 lakh so far. Spectacles for the remaining will be given by this month-end, he added. Chief Secretary Neelam Sawhney, Special Chief Secretary K.S. Jawahar Reddy CEO , Aarogysri Dr Mallikarjuna Rao, and other officials were present. In the interactive session, beneficiaries from various districts thanked the CM for Aarogyasri and other welfare schemes being implemented in the state.

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