Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana better than Ayushman Bharat: Health Minister

Bhubaneswar: State Health Minister Pratap Jena today said that ‘Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana for Odisha is a better scheme than Centre’s Ayushman Bharat.

Disapproving the Central scheme, the minister said the Ayushman scheme claims to include 61 lakh families in Odisha depriving 9 lakh others. That’s why the state came up with a new scheme, Jena stated.

“We don’t want people of Odisha to be deprived of the facilities so we have started our own programme. Moreover, the Centre has not clearly stated on when Ayushman Bharat programme will kick off,” Jena said.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday had announced health assurance scheme “Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana” that will benefit around 3.5 crore people (70 lakh families) in the state.

“Under the scheme, each and everyone visiting any Government health institution from District to sub-centre level will be provided all health services free of cost,” Patnaik had said adding that the cashless healthcare assistance is part of his government’s commitment towards universal health coverage and will include more than 70 lakh families in the State.

The scheme is not insurance, but an assurance for better healthcare to the people, Patnaik had stated. Besides, Rs 500 will be provided to all pregnant women and infants admitted to government hospitals to meet pick-up and drop expenses, he added.

The Central government’s Ayushman scheme aims to open 1.5 lakh health and wellness centres by 2022.