TB patients may soon get Rs 500 a month as ‘social support’ from govt

New Delhi, January 13 (PTI): The government plans to give Rs 500 a month to Tuberculosis (TB) patients to help them buy nutritious food and compensate them for travel expenses until they are cured of the disease, a health ministry official has said. Under the proposal, the money would be given to patients, around 25 lakh, irrespective of their income level. The Expenditure Finance Committee has approved the proposal and sent it to the Mission Steering Group, the official said. The initiative is part of the National Strategic Plan for TB Elimination, with the health ministry aiming to eliminate TB by 2025. “Around 25 lakh patients suffering from tuberculosis will soon be given Rs 500 per month, irrespective of their income level, as social support. A mechanism will be put in place to give the incentives to the patients on the basis of their Aadhaar number and medical documents,” the official said. According to the World Health Organisation, an estimated 2.8 mn cases of TB occur in India every year, out of which 1.7 mn cases are reported.“The health ministry aims to reduce incidences of TB by 90% by 2025 and reduce mortality due to the disease by 95% by 2030 under the Revised National TB Control Programme,” the official said.