Odisha shouldn’t oppose Ayushman Bharat for mere politics: Pradhan

Bhubaneswar: Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Sunday said that the Odisha government should not oppose the Ayushman Bharat scheme, popularly known as Modicare, for mere political reasons.

“Odisha government must not oppose the Ayushman Bharat scheme for mere political reasons, which will harm the poor people in the state,” he said.

Pradhan, who hails from Odisha, said the decision of the state government to stay away from Ayushman Bharat scheme is “unfortunate” and “anti-people” as over 61 lakh families would benefit under the programme.

He said that the people of Odisha have already realized the inefficiency of the state government led by the Biju Janata Dal (BJD).

A political controversy has surfaced following the state government’s refusal to implement the Centre’s flagship health scheme.

The BJD said it has decided to implement Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana, which will cover more beneficiaries than the central scheme.

“While Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana is a health assurance scheme, Ayushman Bharat is a health insurance scheme. The state government scheme will benefit 70 lakh families against 61 lakh families in the central scheme,” said BJD spokesperson Pratap Deb.

Under the Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana, secondary and tertiary cashless healthcare assistance will be provided up to Rs 5 lakh per family per annum. The scheme will come into effect from August 15 this year.