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.
Such a meeting is significant, say BJD leaders, since the state government had thus far refused to implement the scheme, despite many appeals from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP leaders from Odisha.
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.
Odisha Chief Secretary Aditya Padhi told journalists that the discussions were at a “preliminary stage”, and that there will be two or three more rounds. However, sources in the state health department said a decision could arrive within two weeks.
Calling Ayushmaan Bharat a “win win win” scheme, Bhushan said, “It is a scheme that will help the Centre, the state government and the people of Odisha.”
“The main challenge is to find a convergence between the Central scheme and the existing scheme in the state,” he said, referring to the Odisha government’s Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (BSKY), adding “he was very hopeful”.