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Odisha's health scheme better than Ayushman Bharat: Patnaik to Pradhan

Patnaik's assertions came a day after Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan had termed as "misleading" the chief minister's claim that one crore cases were registered under the BSKY within 60 days of its launch.


Odisha's health scheme better than Ayushman Bharat: Patnaik to Pradhan
Odisha has adopted its own health insurance scheme -- the Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (BSKY) -- in place of the Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat programme, which was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (Image Credit: Twitter)

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Wednesday claimed that the state's health insurance scheme named after legendary leader Biju Patnaik was much better than the Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat programme, brushing aside criticism from Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan.

Odisha has adopted its own health insurance scheme -- the Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (BSKY) -- in place of the Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat programme, which was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 23.

Patnaik's assertions came a day after Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan had termed as "misleading" the chief minister's claim that one crore cases were registered under the BSKY within 60 days of its launch.

"The Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana is a historic step since both the BPL and APL people will get health benefits under the scheme. It is way better than Ayushman Bharat," Patnaik said while addressing a function to mark the ruling Biju Janata Dal's (BJD) "padayatra" (foot march) here.

After a review of the BSKY, Patnaik had Saturday said the scheme had benefitted over one crore people within 60 days of its launch.

The BSKY was launched on August 15.

Pradhan, the Union Petroleum Minister who hails from Odisha, had challenged the chief minister's claim Tuesday.

Seeking evidence from Patnaik over his claim, Pradhan had alleged that the BJD government was "providing incorrect" information to the people of the state.

"How come one crore cases were registered under the BSKY within 60 days when the total number of people visiting government hospitals in a year is much less than one crore?" he had said.

Odisha's adoption of a different health insurance scheme has triggered a war of words between the BJD and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha election, which would coincide with the state Assembly polls.

Talking about the BSKY, Patnaik said people irrespective of their economic status will be benefitted under the scheme.

Ridiculing the Centre's Ayushman Bharat programme, he said, "Does any disease see poor or rich before affecting a person? Those not in the BPL category will also get benefits under BSKY."

"The state government is there for those in the BPL (Below Poverty Line) as well as in the APL (Above Poverty Line) category," Patnaik added.

Stating that the BJD government was the symbol of faith of the 4.5 crore people of Odisha, Patnaik said, "With your money, the Odisha people's money, we started the Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana, the Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana, the Odisha Food Security Scheme, the Madhu Babu Pension scheme and other social security schemes.

"We believe in action, not in words. I had earlier assured you of four things -- food security, house, health and social security. As per the guidelines of the Centre, many poor people were left out of the benefits, which hurt me. Therefore, we launched our own food security scheme as well as health insurance scheme," he said.

The BJD had launched the "Jansampark Padayatra" on October 2 across the state.

(With inputs from agencies.)


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