Aizawl: The Indian National Congress (INC) on Tuesday blamed the Mizo National Front (MNF) for the deteriorating healthcare services in Mizoram, holding the regional party accountable for the “healthcare crisis.”
The Congress criticised the MNF for prioritising wasteful projects over the improvement of Mizoram’s healthcare system, rendering the state vulnerable during the ongoing pandemic.
Congress pointed out that the MNF government had borrowed over Rs 265 crores from the World Bank, contributing to the increasing debt burden on Mizoram’s residents. Despite this substantial influx of funds, they said the state’s healthcare system remains in a dilapidated state.
They also touched on the topic of cancer saying, Mizoram is a state infamously known as the “Cancer State,” and has witnessed hundreds of cancer-related deaths annually. The Congress accused the MNF of inaction over the past five years and criticized their move to lay the foundation for a cancer research center just before the elections.
Commenting on the MNF’s healthcare scheme which aimed to provide Rs 2 lakh insurance coverage to each family under the Mizoram State Health Care Scheme (MSHCS), the Congress deemed it a failure for several reasons, including the scheme’s alleged failure to cover serious diseases like cancer, the focus on premium collection, delayed reimbursements to the people, and concerns about mismanagement of funds.
The Congress further highlighted the state of healthcare services under the MNF’s rule, citing nearly 6,000 cancer cases and over 3,100 cancer-related deaths in the last five years. They criticized MNF for failing to improve healthcare infrastructure and services, despite promises to enhance healthcare facilities, staff presence, and the settlement of outstanding bills.
The Congress questioned the MNF’s management of the Mizoram State Health Care Scheme (MSHCS), which was meant to provide substantial insurance coverage to families. According to the Health Minister, the government allocated Rs. 150 crores from the State Economic Development Programme (SEDP) over five years for the scheme.
In addition, the government allocated Rs. 10 crores in the 2020-21 fiscal year, Rs. 10 crores in the 2021-22 fiscal year, and Rs. 20 crores in the 2022-23 fiscal year for the implementation of Mizoram State Health Care Scheme (MSHCS) also while collecting a premium of Rs. 11,55,19,650 over three policy years.
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They questioned why the government failed to provide reimbursement to people worth Rs. 63. 88 crores despite allocating the funds and questioned if the government has diverted all the money or mis-used the collected fees and also allocated funds.
They suggested a decline in the MSHCS enrollment saying, from the 2021-22 policy year to the 2022-23 policy year, enrollment in MSHCS declined by a substantial 55% and in the following policy year, from 2022-23 to 2023-24, there was a 32.75% decline.
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