Will Odisha join Ayushman Bharat? Talks begin to chalk out modalities

Bhubaneswar: Talks surrounding the chances of implementation of Ayushman Bharat (Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana) scheme in Odisha got fuelled after a discussion between Ayushman Bharat CEO Indu Bhushan and State Government officials at the Secretariat here today.

“We had a preliminary discussion about the Ayushman Bharat scheme and Odisha Government’s Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (BSKY). The discussions are in initial stage. We can reach at a conclusive point after 2-3 rounds of discussion,” said Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi after the meeting.

On the other hand, Indu Bhushan praised the BSKY and said modalities are being chalked out to merge the Ayushman Bharat with BSKY in the state.

“The state already has a very good and strong scheme. Our challenge is how to converge Ayushman Bharat with the existing scheme in the state,” he said.

“We need to find out how to share the expenses in the public hospitals because the state is providing free services to everyone without distinguishing people based on their income status. We have to see how do we share that expense and work out a formula which is transparent and in line with the Cabinet decision of the Ayushman Bharat,” he added.

Notably, Ayushman Bharat provides an insurance cover upto Rs 5 lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary hospitalization. Poor and vulnerable families across the country, identified as deprived rural families and occupational categories of urban workers’ families as per the latest Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) data are eligible to avail benefits under the scheme.

On the other hand, BSKY provides free health services for all irrespective of income, status or residence in all State Government health care facilities upto District Headquarters Hospital level.

For additional facility of free healthcare beyond District Headquarters Hospital level, over 70 lakh economically vulnerable families in the State are provided annual health coverage of Rs 5 lakh per family and Rs 7 lakh for the women members of the family.

The Odisha Government had earlier decided not to implement the Ayushman Bharat in the state saying that BSKY was a better scheme.

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