After holding out for long, Odisha set to adopt Ayushman Bharathttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/after-holding-out-for-long-odisha-set-to-adopt-ayushman-bharat-5767519/

After holding out for long, Odisha set to adopt Ayushman Bharat

The Odisha government on Tuesday held its first round of talks with the Centre to explore the feasibility of implementing the Ayushman Bharat Yojana in the state.

Naveen Patnaik, BJD, BSKY, Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana, Ayushman Bharat Yojana, National Health Protection Scheme, Indian Express
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. (File photo)

The Odisha government has placed a set of suggestions for “seamless integration” of the state health assurance scheme Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (BSKY) with Prime Minister’s Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY), according to a document accessed by The Indian Express.

The Odisha government on Tuesday held its first round of talks with the Centre to explore the feasibility of implementing the Ayushman Bharat Yojana in the state. The state government had so far refused to implement the scheme.

“Odisha government will likely accept the implementation of PM-JAY,” a BJD spokesperson said on Wednesday, requesting anonymity.

Tuesday’s discussion took place between Ayushman Bharat CEO Indu Bhushan and Odisha Health minister Naba Das. State health secretary Pramod Meherda was also present.

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“The main challenge is to find a convergence between the Central scheme and the existing scheme in the state,” Bhushan told reporters after the meeting, referring to the state government’s Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (BSKY).

A letter from Odisha Chief Secretary Aditya Padhi to Bhushan that was accessed by The Indian Express explains that BSKY has two components — one of them has no need for the verification of documents of beneficiaries.

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State sees benefit of cost-sharing

With an integration of state and Central health schemes, sources in Odisha’s health department said the state government can expect the Centre to share the cost burden and reduce pressure on its budget. In the run-up to the elections, the state government had announced a host of populist schemes such as KALIA, BSKY and State Food Security Scheme. Some BJD leaders also feel that with a brute majority in the Assembly, CM Naveen Patnaik can confidently implement the central scheme without worrying about BJP gaining political capital and converting it into votes in the near future.

“Free health services for all (irrespective of income, status or residence) in all state government health care facilities starting from sub-centre level to government medical college and hospitals and all government blood banks. All treatment is cashless and no document is required to be produced by the beneficiary,” the letter states.

It adds, “It is relevant to note here that under (this) component (A) there is no provision for verification of any document of beneficiaries at public hospitals. This is along the lines of several existing universal health coverage programmes currently being promoted by MoHFW (Ministry of Health and Family Welfare), GoI (Government of India) such as the free drugs service, PM National Dialysis Programme, free diagnostic service, free blood services, free healthcare for all pregnant women, infants, children up to 18 years, and the elderly.”

“Besides, all cases of TB, Leprosy, Malaria, cancer, diabetes, hypertension, eye care, etc provide for free health care services to all patients without any entitlement card,” the letter stated.

The letter suggests that in view of this free and universal component under BSKY, “NHA (National Health Authority) may consider the option of mutually arriving at a notional percentage of PM-JAY eligible beneficiaries out of the total beneficiaries using public facilities, and factor the average size under PM-JAY for calculating grant-in-aid entitlement of the state for free services in public health facilities.”

The NHA provides overall vision and stewardship for design, rollout, implementation and management of Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY) in alliance with state governments.

NHA fosters linkages as well as convergence of PM-JAY with health and related programmes of the Centre and state governments.

The letter also suggests that for BSKY’s second component, the scheme can be implemented as envisaged under PM-JAY with beneficiary verification and national portability. Here, BSKY provides annual health care coverage of Rs 5 lakh per annum per family and Rs 7 lakh for female members in private empanelled hospitals inside and outside Odisha. This component is for all Biju Krushak Kalyan Yojana, Antyodaya Anna Yojana, Below Poverty Line, Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana card holders and families with low income certificates.