Health tops ILO pledge list in state

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  • Published 9.08.05

Ranchi, Aug. 9: Chief minister Arjun Munda has ultimately succeeded in convincing the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to provide technical assistance for running health insurance scheme in the state.

A team of experts from the ILO will be visiting Jharkhand next month to assess the viability of the proposed scheme.

Munda had detailed discussions with the ILO executive director Assne Biop in Geneva on Monday while chief secretary P.P. Sharma presented a detailed report on the health schemes run by the state, especially for the rural people. Munda also requested the ILO to provide new schemes for Jharkhand.

?They were highly impressed by our presentations. They have agreed to send in their team of experts in the first week of next month. They have also some more information on the health insurance scheme, which we will be furnishing by August 20,? Munda told The Telegraph over the phone from Geneva.

The state government announced health insurance schemes for people living below the poverty line (BPL) last month, while renewing the tenure of the land leased out to the Tatas. Under this scheme, the BPL families will be having health cards, with which they can avail treatments free of cost at various state hospitals and at select reputed hospitals located outside the state.

Initially, people were somewhat sceptical about the success of this scheme, as it was perceived that the Tatas will be bagging the contract of health insurance in lieu of their ?services? to the state. But, as the ILO, too, has now started taking interest in this scheme, it is expected that something positive will come out soon.

In Geneva, Munda is also slated to meet the UNESCO officials to give a boost to literacy mission and scientific researches, especially those related to agriculture and mining sectors.

The state has already decided to carry out mining operations though the Jharkhand State Mineral Development Corporation. It has requested the Union coal ministry to provide coal blocks.

?Now no one can say that we are not making honest efforts in the positive direction. It may be too early to comment on the net outcomes, but we are trying our best. Let us see what is there in store for us,? Munda added. An Israeli company, too, has shown keen interest in promoting aquaculture business in Jharkhand.