Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday launched a health coverage scheme in the state that is expected to benefit 70 lakh families, PTI reported. Patnaik made the announcement after unfurling the national flag in Bhubaneswar at the Independence Day function.
Health department officials said secondary and tertiary cashless healthcare assistance will be provided up to Rs 5 lakh per family annually. For women, the health cover will be Rs 7 lakh per annum, the Hindustan Times reported.
The government also started posting letters to the intended beneficiaries of the Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana, which is named after former chief minister and Naveen Patnaik’s father Biju Patnaik, The Indian Express reported. “In 2014, I promised that no poor family in Odisha will be denied medical treatment because of financial constraints,” reads the chief minister’s message to the beneficiaries. “To them, I dedicate Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana.”
The letter listed other schemes of the state government such as Niramaya, which provides free medicines to beneficiaries, Nidan for free diagnostics, and Sahay, which equips all districts to provide dialysis and chemotherapy services. “Collectors have been asked to set up and chair six-member committees in respective districts to review distribution of these letters,” the daily quoted a health department official as saying.
Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Golak Mohapatra criticised the government for rejecting the Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Abhiyaan, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke about in his Independence Day speech. The Centre’s scheme will be launched on September 25.
“Their argument in favour of BSKY was that it will cover more families,” said Mohapatra. “However, they have covered only around 69 lakh families.”