Two health, population-related bodies to go, functions to vest in DoHFW

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New Delhi, Feb 7 (IANS) The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the proposal to close two autonomous bodies — Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi and Jansankhya Sthirata Kosh — and to vest their functions in the Department of Health and Family Welfare (DoHFW), an official statement said.

According to the proposal, the rationalisation of autonomous bodies under the DoHFW will involve inter-ministerial consultations and review of existing bye-laws of these bodies. The time frame for its implementation is one year.

The Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi (RAN) was set up as a registered society to provide financial medical assistance to poor patients receiving treatment in designated central government hospitals.

An advance is placed with the medical superintendents of such hospitals, who then provide assistance on a case to case basis.

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Since the DoHFW provides funds to the hospitals, the grants can be given from the Department to the hospitals directly.

“RAN functions can, therefore, be vested in DoHFW. Managing Committee of RAN Society will meet to dissolve the autonomous body as per the provisions of Societies Registration Act, 1860. In addition to this, Health Minister’s Cancer Patient Fund shall also be transferred to the Department,” said a statement from the ministry.

The Jansankhya Sthirata Kosh (JSK) was set up with a corpus grant of Rs.100 crore in 2003 to raise awareness about population stabilisation strategies. The JSK organises various activities with target populations as a part of its mandate.

According to the statement, there has not been continuous funding to the JSK from the ministry. Population stabilisation strategies require private and corporate funding, which can be accessed through the JSK.

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The Cabinet said that the JSK would continue to play a significant role in population stabilisation strategies, but its existence as an autonomous body was not necessary.

“Hence, JSK as an autonomous body can be closed as it can be administered by the Department as a fund,” the statement added.

–IANS

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