Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay addressed the inaugural session of a two-day workshop on Tibetan Medicare System (TMS), a non-profit medical insurance scheme for Tibetans on 24th January 2015. Over 52 participants including Tibetan settlement officers, Tibetan doctors, hospital administrators and healthcare workers are participated in the workshop. The workshop was organised by the Department of Health, CTA to discuss the revised guidelines and boost participation of the Tibetan public in the medical insurance project.
In his inaugural address, Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay acknowledged the prevalence of economic disparity in the Tibetan community and explained that the Tibetan Medicare System will ensure effective financial help for all including the poor during medical emergencies.
He said: “The general economic condition of the Tibetan people has improved a lot since the early days of Tibetan exile. However, I have noticed during my visits to the Tibetan settlements that there are still Tibetans who continue to remain poor. Despite our best efforts, reaching out to each and everyone is challenging. Therefore, the Tibetan olled in the project and around 1800 have already availed the benefits of it. However, the TMS is still dependent on funds. Hence, more participation of the Tibetan public is crucial to make TMS self-reliant and to pre-empt financial constraints during meMedicare System is a novel initiative to ensure financial help to the poor during medical emergencies.”
“The TMS is currently in its third year since its launch in 2012. In the past three years, over 30,000 Tibetans have enrdical emergencies for the poor,” he said.
Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay also expressed his appreciation to the US Congress for providing an additional 3 million USD in financial aid to the Tibetans under a new line item recently. He said that the sanction of the new funds by the US Congress which was duly approved by the US President reflects the support of the US and other countries towards the activities and leadership of the Central Tibetan Administration.
Health Kalon Dr. Tsering Wangchuk, in his address, said that the Tibetan Medicare System is one of the five most important projects of the Central Tibetan Administration that has been prioritised by the present Kashag. He explained the objectives of organising the workshop and urged the participants to create more awareness about the project so as to increase enrollment from the public.
Health Kalon also explained the allocation of the 3.2 million USD awarded by the US government for the Tibetan Health System Strengthening Project. He said that the funds are allocated on three main activities of the Health Department namely i) its main projects including TMS, Mother & Child program, TB programs, etc, ii) capacity building of staff such as workshops, trainings, and iii) preventive measures like vaccinations, MTR TBs etc.
The two day workshop is being presided over by Dr. Aloke Gupta and Dr. Francis Raj. Topics of discussion include Community engagement and its implication on the scheme, Identifying effective mode and channel of communication for enhancing enrollment of scheme, etc.
The Tibetan Medicare System (TMS) is a non-profit secondary and tertiary health care coverage provided by the health department for all Tibetans living in exile. It is aimed to abet financial security to the Tibetan public during medical emergencies.
According to TMS, a family of five members has to pay an annual contribution of INR 3565 and an extra INR 713 per year for each additional member to avail benefits of upto 1 Lac Rupees. This include cost of hospitalization, medicines, etc. Individuals have to pay INR 950 to avail benefits of up to 50,000 at selected hospitals.
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