Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi UPSC

Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi is a centrally sponsored scheme. It aims at providing financial assistance to the patients who live under the poverty line. The scheme covers patients suffering from diseases that are identified as life-threatening. As a part of this scheme, patients can avail of medical treatment at any hospital or institute providing super-speciality facilities or at any other government hospital. Earlier referred to as the National Illness Assistance Fund, the scheme was established in 1997 under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

The Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi Scheme UPSC syllabus will contain several details that are stated below. You are required to carefully go through all these details.

All competitive exam aspirants must also review the List of Government Schemes in India which contribute to the social and economic development of the country.

Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi Scheme

The state always provides financial assistance to people belonging to BPL (below poverty line) group. As a part of this scheme, this assistance is given to patients with life-threatening diseases in the form of a ‘one time grant’. This grant is provided to the concerned Medical Superintendent of the particular medical institute or hospital where treatment is being provided.

As per the Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi Guidelines, the states and union territories within India are required to make their own State Illness Funds. The central government then provides the funds to these State Illness Funds. 50% of the total contribution is to be done by the State Governments or the Union Territories for their respective funds.

The contribution of the central government and the state governments, and the union territories will form an important part of the UPSC Syllabus. You are required to pay much attention to this.

Financial Assistance Conditions

The Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi Yojana comes with several conditions for the case of the patients to be eligible for financial assistance. These conditions are stated below:

  • Financial assistance under the Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi is not directly handed over to the patient. It is provided to the concerned hospital’s Medical Superintendent.
  • Financial assistance can only be availed if the patient goes for medical treatment in a government hospital.
  • The state government employees, the central government employees, and the PSU employees are not eligible to avail of this scheme. After a particular case of a patient gets assessed by a technical committee, the patient party can avail a fund of up to INR 1.5 lakh from the state government only after the case is assessed by a technical committee set up at the health directorate level. If the estimated cost of treatment surpasses this amount, a grant proposal needs to be sanctioned from the centre.
  • As a part of the Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi Scheme, an advanced balance of INR 10 lakhs to INR 40 lakhs is kept with the various Medical Superintendents of all the major national hospitals throughout the country. For every deserving case, these hospitals can get up to INR 5 lakhs sanctioned for providing treatment within the respective hospital or medical institute.
  • If a particular case requirement goes beyond the provided financial assistance of INR 5 lakhs, the Health Ministry should get notified of it so that further funds are allowed.

Also, refer to the following links:

The Punjab Controversy

While preparing for the UPSC exam, it is important to know the challenges a particular project or scheme faces. In the case of Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi, a recent CAG report revealed that during 2011, only 41 patients under the poverty line received the benefits of the scheme in Punjab. The report has highlighted that as a result of poor management on the part of the state government, the funds have been misused. The audit report also marked the functioning of the various government hospitals and medical institutes as insufficient.

The controversy in Punjab brought out a gap between the central government schemes and their implementations by the state governments. This will form an important section for your UPSC Notes pertaining to the topic.

Frequently Asked Questions on Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi UPSC

What documents does a patient need to submit to avail of the RAN financial assistance?

Following are the documents that should be submitted by the patient:

  • Application form in the prescribed proforma signed by the doctor involved in the treatment and the Medical Superintendent of the concerned government hospital or medical institute
  • Copy of the patient’s income certificate
  • Copy of the patient’s ration card

How is the BPL status established?

The BPL status is established and decided on with reference to the prescribed income limit by the Planning Commission. For this, the patient’s income is tallied with the prescribed standards.

What is the overall constitution of the RAN Technical Committee?

The RAN Technical Committee includes:

  • Special DG (Senior most), DGHS.
  • Medical Superintendent, Dr RML Hospital, New Delhi.
  • Economic Adviser
  • HOD, Cardiology, AIIMS, New Delhi
  • HOD, Medical Oncology, Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi
  • HOD, Haematology, AIIMS, New Delhi

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