Arogya Bhagya Yojana: The state government of Karnataka approved Arogya Bhagya scheme for Universal Health Coverage (UHC) under which all the 1.40 crore eligible households in the state. All the eligible households will get free health care services.

Arogya Bhagya is a Universal Health Scheme that reaches out to all the citizens with free health care including emergency care, at government and private hospitals. The Universal Health scheme will be rolled out by the State government on November 1st. The state cabinet has allocated a funding of Rs 869 crore for the scheme. The Arogya Bhagya scheme integrated seven existing government sponsored health care programs.

The facilities would be provided by categorizing the beneficiaries into two groups that are A and B. Law Minister TB Jayachandra said 1.4 crore households under Category A would be able to access free healthcare services. Farmers, teachers of aided schools, Anganwadi (childcare centre) workers, scheduled castes/scheduled tribes, sanitation workers, unorganized workers, public servants and even media professionals are under Category A.

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The households who do not come under the above categories must enroll in the scheme. People in rural areas need to pay Rs 300 per person and those in urban areas should pay Rs 700 per person.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah launched many such schemes to consolidate his position. He came in to the power with his AHINDA (an acronym for minorities, backward classes, and Dalits) in 2013. Jayachandran said, “In emergencies defined for both accidents and medical/surgical emergencies treatment can be provided in the nearest facility available irrespective of government or private to ensure Treatment first and Payment Next.”

Chandan Gowda, political analyst and professor at the Azim Premji University, Bengaluru said, this is a bold move if it is aimed at restoring trust in the government’s seriousness about making good healthcare facilities widely accessible. Citizens will have to call toll free number 1800-425-8330 / 1800-425-2646 to get referred online to government or private hospitals.

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