Health schemes galore, beneficiaries only a few

Bhubaneswar: Even as State is claiming big on its flagship scheme Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (BSKY), a reality check unravels the ugly underbelly of Odisha’s wobbly healthcare system.

Odisha Government touted the BKSY as universal health assurance scheme where people below poverty line can avail up to Rs 5 lakh for treatment of critical illness. However, a few could avail the real benefits.

Meet Jhuni Sundarray. She has no income of her own. But needs Rs 50,000 to treat a critical ailment her two-year-old kid suffers from. Abandoned by husband, Jhuni now lives with her old father. She was at the office of Khurda district Collector to seek government assistance. The BKSY scheme for Jhuni now seems limited to only on hoardings.

The fate of Akshay Maharana, inhabitant of Pubushahi, Khurda, is no different.  Afflicted with coronary heart disease since 2011, State’s flagship schemes have of little relevance to him. For the want of money, Akshay has to skip intake of vital medicines at times.

When contacted Khurda District Collector Nirmal Chandra Mishra claimed no paucity of fund for the treatment of such poor households. There are many Government funded health schemes, poor families can avail them, added Mishra.

Ironically, when Ramchandra Kulasika’s condition warrants treatment in a hospital, he was compelled to undergo treatment at home as the nearest PHC has no health staff to provide basic medical treatment. For want of funds, Kulasika could not avail treatment in District Headquarter Hospital. The Badachandra PHC  has the basic facilities but no healthcare staff. The PHC runs with single health worker, though it caters to a whopping 15,000 population. “State Administration is seized of the matter. Once sanctioned, services would be provided unhindered,” said CHC in-charge Chinmi Lima.

The Janani Surakshya Yojana (JSY), indeed, needs ‘care’. Lack of approach roads failed the Yojana yet again in the State and this time in Ganjam’s Ankuli panchayat. A pregnant women had delivered mid-way, when she was being carried in a sling to hospital giving two hoots to State’s slogan of ‘safe motherhood’ and ‘institutional delivery’.