The state government's ambitious programme 'Arogyakiranam' offering free treatment to all children aged below 18 will now be clubbed with the centrally sponsored Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK).
Under this programme the state will get Rs 30 crore in the first year for offering treatment to children. "Already many of the schemes under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) cover the health needs of the children. With the launch of RBSK we expect to cover the proposals under the Arogyakiranam project through all these schemes,'' said M Beena, mission director, NRHM.
However, the state government has assured of funds if the pecuniary resources from RBSK fall short. In the first year it will not incur a huge expense as the scheme will be just rolled out. Institutions like regional cancer centre are already offering free treatment under various schemes to children.
Hence there will not be any heavy burden on the government in the initial stage, she said. RBSK is intended to provide comprehensive healthcare and improve the quality of children's life through early detection of birth defects, diseases and deficiencies. But the main problem the state will encounter under the scheme is that -- there are no adequate centres offering specialised treatment facilities. "The number of centres is limited and hence our main focus should be on equipping the centres for which we will need more funds,'' said Beena.
Several diseases like juvenile diabetes will require prolonged treatment as we will have to give insulin regularly and conduct periodic blood check-ups. Hence we will need more funds in such situations, she said. "NRHM is planning to seek the support of several agencies for providing training to doctors and others to exptend this scheme to more centres,'' said Beena.