The Assembly Committee on Women Empowerment has today urged the State government to reduce the cost of Covid testing and treatment.
It may be mentioned that the State government has decided that from October 16, it will charge Rs 3200 for RTPCR, CBNAAT and TRUNAAT tests, while Rs. 500 will be charged for rapid antigen test.
During its meeting here today, the Assembly Committee also summoned the Director of Meghalaya Health Insurance Scheme, Dr. Aman War to discuss MHIS card coverage in the state.
Committee chairperson Ampareen Lyngdoh stated that they were informed that MHIS coverage in the State is still inadequate.
“In East Khasi Hills, the MHIS covers approximately half of the population,” she said, adding that Ri-Bhoi and North Garo Hills district, which are seeing a rise in Covid cases, the MHIS coverage was 49.46 per cent and 47.5 per cent respectively.
Committee Member, Himalaya M. Shangpliang informed that the committee has received complaints from the public that private hospitals refused to accept the MHIS smart cards.
Shangpliang said that they have urged the MHIS Director to conduct surprise inspections at all hospitals to ensure that MHIS cardholders receive the subsidies they are entitled to.
Meanwhile, the Committee chairperson also pointed out that the low coverage of BPL cards in the State was worrying since only high-risk contacts and BPL families will be able to avail free Covid testing facilities from the government.
“If 50 percent of a red zone like Shillong is not covered under the scheme, we will be in a very tight spot because individuals won’t be able to pay for tests,” Ampareen said.
She also added that since the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is the only person who is able to certify BPL in Urban Agglomerations, it might lead to delay in COVID testing and availing of free-of-cost treatment.