Odisha govt willing to join Ayushman Bharat if concerns addressed: CM

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has said the state government would be willing to consider joining the Ayushman Bharat scheme in due course if the concerns of the state are addressed adequately.

Notably, the state government has rejected the National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS) and instead launched its own scheme Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana.

Even though the Chief Minister welcomed the NHPS announced in the Union Budget, he said the dependence of NHPS on SECC data will be a serious handicap in achieving universal health coverage.

“As you will agree, the SECC survey done on the criteria fixed by the UPA Government has grave lacunae and many genuine poor have been left out. Due to this reason, whenever our State has implemented any programme, we have gone for near universal coverage – as in schemes like MAMATA, Rural Housing, State Pensions for Old Age and also NFSA,” said the Chief Minister in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He said about 40 lakh people (8 lakh families) who are already covered under the Health Assistance Schemes of State Government will be left out if SECC data as a base is taken.

“Our State Government has a mandate of providing near-universal health coverage. In view of the same our Government has announced a health assurance scheme which will cover nearly 70 lakh families of the State,” said Patnaik.

“However, we will still be willing to consider joining NHPS in due course if the concerns of the State are addressed adequately,” he added.

The state government argued that while Ayushman Bharat will cover 61 lakh families in the state, the state scheme will cover 70 lakh families.