Over 1 lakh get free Covid treatment under Aarogyasri in Andhra


More than one lakh eligible people in Andhra Pradesh availed the Aarogyasri health scheme to undergo free coronavirus treatment in corporate hospitals.

Within a few days of the pandemic striking the state, the government included Covid as one of the diseases for which eligible patients can avail free treatment if the hospital bill exceeds Rs 1,000.

In total, 1,00,033 patients in the southern state got Covid treatment through this scheme, with the government spending Rs 309 crore.

In many cases, the treatment cost of a beneficiary was higher than their entire family’s annual income.

“For instance, the government approved a sum of Rs 5.8 lakh towards the medical bills of 49-year-old Ramanaiah Manda, a resident of Nellore district who availed free treatment at the Apollo Specialty Hospitals,” said an official.

Similarly, Rs 4.6 lakh was approved for the treatment of 58-year-old Sheikh Nazeer.

“Considering the fact that one’s family income should be below Rs 5 lakh per annum in order to be eligible under this scheme, one can only imagine how the respective families would be subjected to immense financial turmoil if they had to spend their entire annual income on the treatment,” he highlighted.

Aarogyasri was first introduced in the southern state by Y. S. Rajasekhar Reddy during his term as the chief minister between 2004-09, enabling many poor people to avail free treatment in corporate hospitals.