Forty-five-year-old Pappu Singh underwent laminectomy on Monday at New Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital, becoming the first beneficiary of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Abhiyan in the national capital. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had termed PMJAY a “game-changer initiative to serve the poor” while launching the flagship scheme from Ranchi in Jharkhand on September 23.
Singh and his wife Vimlesh work at a quilt factory in Moradabad and together earn a meagre Rs 8,000 per month. Singh met with an accident on September 26 and suffered spinal injuries that made him bed-ridden. Vimlesh managed to take her husbancd to Safdarjung Hospital where he was to undergo laminectomy.
Hospital officials informed her that Singh’s surgery would be funded by the PMJAY scheme, according to an Indian Express report. Singh’s wife was told that the surgery would be performed free of cost and all she needed was to do was to submit Singh’s Aadhaar card, family’s ration card and one unit of blood.
Before coming to Delhi, she had taken her husband to a private hospital in Moradabad where the procedure could have cost anything between Rs 90,000 and Rs 1 lakh. Laminectomy is a process which creates space is by removing part of a vertebra that covers the spinal canal.
The expenses of this surgery have been funded by the central government as the Delhi government is yet to become part of the scheme. The scheme aims to provide a coverage of up to Rs five lakh per family annually and is expected to benefit more than 10 crore families. While the Delhi government is yet to be part of the scheme, the central government is footing the entire cost of treatment under PMJAY.