Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : May 2, 2022, 10:31

Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi is a Government-sponsored program to provide financial support to patients living below the poverty line. This system is intended for patients suffering from illnesses that are classified as life-threatening. As part of this program, patients can be treated in super-specialised hospitals, laboratories, or other public hospitals.

Formerly known as the National Medical Assistance Fund, this system was established in 1997 under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi Scheme - Overview

The country constantly provides financial assistance to those who belong to the BPL Group (below the poverty line). As part of this program, this support will be provided to patients with life-threatening illnesses in the form of "one-off grants."

This grant is awarded to the appropriate medical supervisor at the particular medical institution or hospital where the treatment is being performed.

How does Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi work?

According to the Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi guidelines, states and union territories in India must form their own National Health Insurance Fund. The central government will then fund the health insurance funds in these states. 50% of the total contribution is made by the state government or Union territory for each fund. This needs special attention.

Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi - Financial assistance conditions

  • Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi Yojana has several conditions for a patient's case to be eligible for financial assistance. These conditions are shown below.
  • Financial assistance is not paid directly to the patient. It is available to the directors of related hospitals.
  • You can only request financial assistance if the patient goes to a public hospital for treatment.
  • State government officials, central government officials, and PSU officials are not eligible for this program.
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Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi - Claims

After a particular case of a patient has been evaluated by a technical committee, the patient's party shall claim up to 1.5 lakh rupees from the state government after the case has been evaluated by a technical committee established at the health department level. If the cost exceeds this amount, centre approval is required.

As part of the Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi program, prepayments of Rs 10 - 40 lakhs are maintained with various medical supervisors at all major national hospitals across the country. For each case earned, these hospitals can get up to Rs 5 lakh per person. In such a case, the Ministry of Health must be notified that additional funding will be approved.

Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi Objectives

  • Provide financial assistance for life-threatening illnesses related to the kidneys, liver, heart, etc.
  • Ensure treatment at a state hospital equipped with super-specialised facilities.
  • Health Minister's Cancer Patient Fund - Its main purpose is to provide financial support to all poor and cancer-stricken patients living below the poverty line. This program supports treatment at regional cancer centres, tertiary care cancer centres, and government cancer laboratories.

The Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi or RAN program allows patients to receive financial support for treatment in several public hospitals covered by the program with highly specialised facilities. Patients being treated in a private hospital are not eligible for financial assistance under this program. Only BPL personnel are eligible for the system.

If the patient receives financial assistance from other sources such as the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund, this will be deducted from the amount of financial assistance under the RAN program.

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FAQs on Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi

Q.1. What is the Punjab controversy over the Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi program?

In the case of Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi, a recent CAG report revealed that in 2011 only 41 patients below the poverty line benefited from the program in Punjab. The report emphasised that the funds were misused due to poor control by the state government. The audit report also found that various public hospitals and medical institutions were inadequately functioning.

The controversy in Punjab highlighted the gap between the central government programs and their implementation by the state government.

Q.2. What documents do patients need to submit to qualify for Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi financial support?

Patients are required to submit the following documents for Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi support:

  • A prescribed form of an application signed by the medical manager of a public hospital or medical institution associated with the treating physician.
  • A copy of the patient's income statement
  • A copy of the patient's ration card

Q.3. How is the BPL status determined under the Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi?

BPL status is determined under the Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi by Planning Committee concerning the prescribed income limits. The patient's income is offset against the prescribed criteria.

Q.4. When was Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi established?

Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi, known as RAN, is a National Health Relief Fund established on January 13, 1997. Originally, it received a grant of 500 million rupees from the Health and Family Welfare Bureau. RAN's main motivation is to provide financial support to patients living below the poverty line who are experiencing serious or life-threatening illnesses in some departments of government hospitals.

Q.5. Who finances the Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi fund?

The first contribution to Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi was provided by the Department of Health, Family, and Welfare. Funding is also provided by public and private sector organisations, individuals, and many organisations. Individual donations to RAN are beneficial and are exempt from paying income tax under Section 80G of the 1961 Income Tax Act.