Goa Govt to revise universal mediclaim scheme

Panaji: Goa`s new BJP-led Government has decided to review the universal mediclaim scheme, which was approved last year and handed over to ICICI Lombard Ltd for implementation.

Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has proposed to increase the health insurance cover under the Government- sponsored scheme from Rs 60,000 to Rs 2 lakh annually.

Health Minister Laxmikant Parsekar said the Government will re-invite ICICI Lombard to submit their rates as per the revised estimates. "If they are okay with the revised rates, then they will continue or we will have to invite fresh bids for the scheme," he said.

The then Digambar Kamat-led Government had introduced the scheme, Swarnajayanti Arogya Bima Yojna, which entitled each family in the state to a cashless medical treatment up to Rs 60,000 annually.

The health plan, which provided for meeting expenses of hospitalisation for medical and/or surgical procedure, aimed to cover 3.2 lakh families in Goa. The scheme had earned criticism as the health cover was not considered enough given the escalating medical costs.

The Government had prescribed a tariff for each of the private hospitals which were roped in to provide medical services under the plan. However, private hospitals did not agree to the tariffs and had sought a revision. Parsekar said all stakeholders would be taken into confidence before finalising the scheme. "Government will not take any unilateral decision."