India: Medical coverage for Tibetans in exile
New health insurance plan benefits 20,000 Tibetans
Starting on 1 April 2012, an innovative community-based health insurance system is providing medical coverage to at least 20,000 Tibetans in exile. Together with its local partner in India, the Micro Insurance Academy (MIA), Malteser International has helped the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) create and implement the Tibetan Medicare System in India.
“A lack of proper medical insurance in times of urgent medical need has created a lot of problems for the general population”, said Kalon Tsering Wangchuk, health minister of the CTA.
The project’s main goal consists of reducing the poverty risks associated with illness for the Tibetan exile community in India. In the long run, all exiled Tibetan residents in India should have access to the insurance plan. This system relies significantly on existing Tibetan political and organisational structures, so that the health insurance is integrated into current social programmes and is sustainable in the long run.
Another focus of the project lies in capacity development – more than 200 representatives of the Tibetan administration in India will receive training to learn more about how the health insurance works. The insurance system has been tailored to fit the needs of the Tibetan population, and an information database has been developed so the system can be managed effectively and kept up-to-date. In addition, Malteser International and MIA will offer insurance education to the Tibetan community, so they are aware of the importance and the benefits of health insurance, and can learn more about their rights and obligations.
The project receives financial support from Malteser International as well as Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.
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