Pradeep Pattanayak

The tall claims of the State government about its much publicized Smart Health Card under Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (BSKY) are proving hollow. 

The cases of Panchanan Jena, a resident of Gop area in Puri district, Akul Lakra of Rajgangpur in Sundargarh district and Nakul Prasad Ghadei, a resident of Kusunapur village under Khaira block in Balasore district bear testimony to how the yojana (scheme) has gone haywire. 

Panchanan is suffering from kidney-related ailments. He did not have the money to foot the bill of hospital expenses, but had a Smart Health Card. Believing in each words of the government announcement and hoping he would be fully taken care of, Panchanana reached the Appolo Hospital in Bhubaneswar. But the hospital authorities reportedly told him that the card would not give him free treatment. Crestfallen, he returned his village. 

“I took treatment at a hospital in Cuttack. As I was not cured and didn't have money, I went to Apollo Hospital in Bhubaneswar, carrying the BSKY Smart Health Card. But they refused to accept the card,” said Panchanan, his voice choking.  
Akul Lakra has the same story as that of Panchanan to narrate. He had taken his mother to High-Tech Hospital in Rourkela to get her leg operated. “At first the hospital authorities refused to entertain the card. Later, they allowed but within a week they told me that the limit of reimbursement had exhausted. So I had to pay the rest of the hospital bill,” Lakra alleged. 

Nakul has the same experience with respect to BSKY card as those of Panchanan Jena and Akul Lakra. “I would like to request Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to issue an order so that we no longer need anyone’s reference and can get hassle free treatment,” appealed Nakul who is in need of treatment for his fractured leg. 

Meanwhile, the Odisha Private Hospital Association has clarified it that free health facilities would no longer be provided to BSKY’s Smart Health Card holders. 

“There are many diseases that do not feature in the list. There are such diseases in the list treatment of which are impossible within the package price. The patients are suffering due to some of the diseases classified under referral and reserved categories,” clarified Dr Subrat Jena, president, Odisha Private Hospital Association.

In this regard, Health Minister Naba Kishore Das said, “I am aware of the facts. I have already directed my department and we will soon have a meeting with the association to do away with disagreements.”