• TB patients need Aadhaar to avail cash benefits

    June 22, 2017

    A gazette notification issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare states that an individual eligible to receive a benefit under the Scheme is required to furnish proof of possession of Aadhaar number or undergo Aadhaar authentication. This scheme refers to government’s Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP). This scheme is implemented by State Governments and Union Territory administrations through government and private health facilities across the country. The government mandates that the patients diagnosed with TB and availing treatment should be registered with a web-based application called Nikshay. This is done for authorities to track funds, treatment outcomes and health providers connected with RNTCP.

    This notification states that any individual who does not possess Aadhaar card or has yet not enrolled for Aadhaar and wishes to avail benefits under this scheme shall have to apply for Aadhar latest by 31 August 2017.

    However, till a patient gets the Aadhaar number, he or she can avail the benefits with the help of Aadhaar enrollment ID slip, a copy of the request made for Aadhaar enrollment or other government documents such as voter identity card, PAN card, bank passbook, ration card among others. TB patients, healthcare providers, and treatment supporters will be the beneficiary of cash assistance that the scheme is said to offer.  

    The primary concern emerging by linking Aadhaar with this scheme is should a TB patient be running after getting Aadhaar card or should they be just taking their treatment and therapy? The entire purpose of the scheme will be rendered useless if people can’t get assistance without Aadhaar.

    The issue of linking Aadhaar to benefits and entitlements is currently pending before the Supreme Court for almost two years now.


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