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Letter To CM By BJP MPs Welcome, But No Final Decision Taken On Ayushman Bharat: Odisha Health Minister


14 August 2019

Debashish Maharana


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Bhubaneswar: Two days after all the BJP MPs (both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha) wrote letter to Odisha Chief Minister urging him to implement Centre’s Ayushman Bharat mega health scheme, State Health Minister today welcome the gesture but made it clear that no final decision has been taken on its implementation.

Responding to media query, Odisha Health Minister Naba Kishore Das argued, “As per the vision of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for Odisha, we have decided to distribute our Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (BSKY) cards to 71-76 lakh families. But the Centre’s Ayushman Bharat Yojana is meant for only 61 lakh families in Odisha.”

He further argued, “In addition to this, no identification or card is required to be shown at the hospital under our Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana while Ayushman Bharat Yojana requires Aadhar card for the beneficiary.”

He also stated, “Let them (Centre) give us the proposal and we will examine it. What will be the best for Odisha people, our Government will take decision accordingly. Till date they haven’t requested us or given us any proposal. If they (BJP MPs from Odisha) have written a letter to the Chief Minister, it is welcome. Whatever direction will be given to us officially, we’ll obey it.”

“You know that Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana is No 1 in the country. It has been appreciated. Let the Centre give us a proposal, we’ll examine and you will come to know about our final decision,” asserted the Odisha Health Minister.  

Notably, Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) Members of Parliament elected from Odisha have written to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik urging the State to join and implement Ayushman Bharat scheme. The MPs have even guaranteed ten benefits to be reaped by the people of Odisha if implemented.

The letter has mentioned, "The scheme allows for nationwide portability through which Odisha's beneficiaries, especially the large number of needy migrant workers, can avail healthcare facilities anywhere in the country. Odisha will also gain access to the latest technological, fraud-control and analytical platforms developed by NHA without any financial burden."

It has also mentioned, "We (the MPs) were encouraged to learn about discussions between Minister of Health of Odisha Naba Kishore Das, Chief Secretary (Odisha) Aditya Prasad Padhi and Dr Indu Bhusan, CEO of Ayushman Bharat. It would not be out of place to mention here that Government of Odisha would not face any financial crunch as we will ensure the funding of this flagship scheme by Government of India. Thus, we request you to adopt and implement the Ayushman Bharat in Odisha."

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Naba Kishore Das, Minister, Health, Odisha