As Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Ayushman Bharat health insurance scheme on Sunday in Jharkhand, Telangana chose to not partake in the scheme citing a state scheme that covers nearly 80 lakh families, thus drawing flak from BJP.
Telangana has decided not to implement the Centre health scheme and instead stay put with the state’s Aarohyasri’ Health Scheme. “We already have Aarogyasri scheme…As of now, Telangana has not participated in the (central government’s) scheme,” officials sources told PTI.
When questioned whether the Centre’s health scheme would be implemented at all, the official said that the state planned to continue with the Aarogyasri scheme as it was a robust programme. BJP expressed its dismay over this decision and in an open letter to Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao described the decision as ‘unilateral, undemocratic and an autocratic one.’
Secunderabad MP and BJP leader Bandaru Dattatreya wrote, “It is wrong to look at the scheme in political point of view but consider the benefits the poorer sections in the state might avail with it.” He added that KCR should have consulted the opposition before he arrived at the decision as the state scheme only covers 949 ailments, whereas Ayushman Bharat insures against 1350 ailments which “could prove to be beneficial for financially poor as they can avail treatment for diseases like cancer.” Dattatreya asked KCR to quit his ‘narrow-minded politics’ and abstain from implementation of central schemes in the state.
The Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) also known as the Ayushman Bharat health insurance scheme aims to cover 50 crore people across the country with an annual health cover of Rs 5 lakh. Modi referred to this ambitious scheme as a ‘game changer’ and called it another example of the slogan Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas.
The scheme involves individual letters written by Modi which would be given to every single beneficiary so that he or she can approach the hospital with the letter and a valid ID document. There, he would meet the Arogya Mitra, who would help them generate a golden card, following which a person would be admitted to the hospital or taken to the right department.