The Central government’s Ayushman Bharat scheme is a failure as it was copied from the state government’s health insurance project, ‘Swasthya Sathi’, said TMC MP Santanu Sen. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has recently extended the ‘Swasthya Sathi’ health cover to everyone in the state.
“West Bengal is the only state in India where free health insurance and healthcare is available. This was started by our chief minister through the ‘Swasthya Sathi’ scheme in 2016. Ayushman Bharat in an attempt to copy our scheme has been a failure. While the state pays entirely for Swasthya Sathi beneficiaries, in Ayushman Bharat, each family has to pay Rs 30 for taking printouts,”” Sen said while addressing a press conference at the party headquarters here.
For the coronavirus spread in the country, he blamed the Central government which, according to him, was busy with the Namaste Trump event in Ahmedabad and toppling an elected government in Madhya Pradesh.
“What’s more. TMC MPs were asked to remove their masks in Parliament. Let me give you some points. When it comes to PPE kits, the government did not notify regulations for one and a half months until March 19. They never ordered PPE kits before, nor did they make any arrangements for delivering these to healthcare workers. There was a shortage of PPE kits everywhere when we needed 38 million, we had only 9 million,” Sen said.
“The Central expenditure on healthcare is 1.3% of our GDP. In Bengal, our expenditure was Rs 3,442 crore in 2010 and today, it is Rs 11,280 crore. Here, we have had a 46 per cent increase in hospitals, a 219 per cent increase in doctors and a 5.4 per cent increase in nurses. In 2010, the number of medical colleges was 10. Today, we have 18. The number of seats in medical colleges was 1,355 in 2010 against 4,000 today. Child mortality rate has gone down to 22 from 32, and maternal mortality to 98 from 117,” he said.
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