Odisha brings in new grant-in-aid term in lieu of PMJAY

Bhubaneswar: In response to Ayushman Bharat CEO, Indu Bhushan’s missive over implementation of PMJAY in the State, Odisha Chief Secretary in a letter outlined some broad contours for the seamless integration of PMJAY and BKSY in Odisha.

Though both PMJAY and BKSY have two identical packages of providing free  Comprehensive Primary Health Care (CPHC), covering both maternal and child health services and non-communicable diseases, including free essential drugs and diagnostic services and the second component of health protection cover to poor and vulnerable families for secondary and tertiary care, Padhi in his letter to Ayushman Bharat CEO seeks a model agreement, whereby Centre has to release grant-in-aid to State for the free services, which the State is currently providing.

“For the State of Odisha, NHA may consider the option of mutually arriving at notional percentage of PMJAY eligible beneficiaries out of the total beneficiaries using public facilities, and factor in the average claim size under PMJAY for calculating the grant-in-aid entitlement of the State for free services in public health facilities,” writes Padhi.

In other words, the State Government seems trying to renegotiate the health grant-in-aid released to State in every Union Budget. The tone and tenor of the letter suggest that the NHA and State will together make an imaginary estimation of PMJAY beneficiaries from the total beneficiaries availing health services in government hospitals. Later, factoring in the average claim size demanded under PMJAY, both will calculate the grant-in aid the State receives every year from Centre.

In a way, the State has brought in some provisions to renegotiate the health grant-in-aid amount the Centre devolves under its own formula.

Simply put, the State is putting up a hard bargain to bring in more central funds in lieu of giving a nod to PMJAY. And lastly, CS termed it as an option before the Centre to see a seamless integration.

Meanwhile, a meeting regarding the convergence of both the schemes was held at the Secretariat in Bhubaneswar today. The meeting was held between a central team led by Ayushman Bharat CEO and delegates of the Odisha government represented by the Health Minister, Chief Secretary, Health Secretary and other officials.

During the meeting, the central team was informed about the advantages of the Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana, and how the scheme will be beneficial for people of Odisha, informed Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi adding that there will be two more rounds of discussions.

“A preliminary discussion was held today with the CEO of National Health Authority & Ayushman Bharat, Indu Bhushan. We will reach a conclusion only after a few more rounds of discussion,” said Padhi.

After the meeting, Indu Bhushan said discussions with the Odisha government were positive.

“Ayushman Bharat is truly a national scheme and it will help the people of Odisha. The scheme can be availed anywhere across the country. The State already has a good scheme in place. Our challenge is how to converge both the schemes,” Bhushan said.

Odisha Health Minister Naba Das said, “We have not taken any final decision, we are just examining whether it will be good for us or not. We are waiting for a proposal from the Centre.”

Odisha is among the five States which has not implemented Centre’s Ayushman Bharat scheme.