Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday launched the third phase of its flagship universal health coverage scheme, Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (BSKY). All the families in rural areas left out in the earlier phases of BSKY will now be covered under the scheme and get the “BSKY Nabin Card'.

“We are now launching the third phase of BSKY, where all left out families of rural areas of our State will be assured of cashless care in private hospitals, for critical ailments. In this phase of expansion, all rural families of Odisha (except regular government employees and income tax payees), who are presently not covered under BSKY, will be eligible to receive the BSKY Nabin Card,” announced the Chief Minister.

He said that the card holders will avail cashless health care of Rs. 5 lakh per annum (upto 10 lakh for women members of the family), in empanelled private hospitals both inside and outside the State, for identified critical illnesses. He said that all services in public health facilities were made free of cost for all persons, irrespective of income or residence in the first phase of BSKY which was launched around five years ago in 2018.

“In the second phase, BSKY provides cashless health care in private health facilities for all ration card holders,” the Chief Minister said. He said that every month over 45 lakh persons receive free health care at public health facilities in the State, while 1.3 lakh persons receive cashless care under this flagship health care programme.

“This amounts to Rs 260 crores each month in empanelled private hospitals. In the past five years BSKY has provided nearly 21 lakh patients with cashless healthcare of about Rs 4,500 crores, in private hospitals alone,” he said.

The Chief Minister that the government estimates that over 1.10 crore families, covering nearly 90 per cent of the population of the state, will be provided health assurance under BSKY.

“Sustha Odisha, Sukhi Odisha has been the driving force behind all interventions in the health sector in Odisha. It has been my dream to provide universal health coverage to the people of Odisha, where healthcare is a right; accessible and affordable by all,” the Chief Minister added.

He said that the BSKY scheme launched five years ago has brought a revolution in providing health assurance to the people of Odisha. “BSKY coverage is being expanded phase-wise, to provide comprehensive health protection to the entire population of our State,” the Chief Minister said.

(Except for the headline, this story, from a syndicated feed, has not been edited by Odishatv.in staff)