State insurance scheme proves a hit

Around 8,300 patients at the Government Stanley Hospital have benefited under the Chief Minister’s comprehensive health insurance scheme in the first year of its introduction.

The 1,300-bed hospital in north Chennai, has earned Rs. 16.62 crore through its services.

Dean S. Geethalakshmi said the hospital admits around 1,200 adults and 195 children every day. Ever since the hospital came under the ambit of the scheme, it has been able to treat more patients requiring “rare, high-end procedures like pin-hole surgeries, she said.

The hospital has also started providing expensive heart valves for women who were of childbearing age.Cheaper stents meant we had to prescribe anticoagulants and the women then would not be able consider pregnancies. The insurance scheme has helped these women, Dr. Geethalakshmi said.

The hospital now performs angiograms, has introduced endoscopy in the surgical gastroenterology department, and has procured tissue expanders and skin-grafting instrument for its plastic surgery department. According to Dr. Geethalakshmi, the number of patients seeking the hospital’s services has doubled since the scheme was put in place.

This means better services have reached the poor, she added. The insurance scheme has allowed the hospital to provide tailor-made prosthesis to orthopaedic patients.

So far, Rs. 80 lakh has been given to the Public Works Department to renovate wards. Work has been completed in the ENT ward while the renovation of the surgery, neurosurgery and neurology wards is in progress.

All wards in the plastic surgery department have been air-conditioned. Wards admitting patients under the scheme have dedicated managers and sanitary workers. Investigations are done in the hospital or in labs authorised by the insurance company.

The Rajah Sir Ramasamy Mudaliar Maternity Hospital, which also comes under the ambit of Stanley hospital, has earned around Rs. 30 lakh under the scheme.

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