BHUBANESWAR:From ObamaCare to ModiCare. Now NaveenCare is here. As Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious Ayushman Bharat-National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS) takes roots, the Odisha Government on Tuesday announced three new schemes to provide free health services to people visiting State-run hospitals up to district levels.
The schemes, billed as Universal Health Coverage, waive all user charges at public health facilities including Sub-Centres, Primary Health Centres, Community Health Centres, Area Hospitals, Sub-Divisional Hospitals and District Headquarters Hospitals. “Free healthcare service scheme will cover the 4.84 crore patients visiting the public health facilities every year,” said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik after announcing the three schemes.
The State Government is branding the new scheme as Health Assurance Scheme, not a Health Insurance Scheme. Ayushman Bharat, which was announced in Union Budget 2018-19 by the NDA Government, was a health insurance scheme covering 10 crore families of the country with Rs 5 lakh insurance coverage a year.
The other two schemes announced by Naveen on Tuesday include Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (BSKY) and assured Drop-Back for Pregnant Women and Sick Infants. Under the BSKY, each family will be provided secondary and tertiary cashless health care assistance up to Rs 5 lakh every year. About 70 lakh families are targeted to benefit under the scheme. While Ayushman Bharat scheme assures health coverage mostly through insurance model, the BSKY will cover healthcare of all economically vulnerable families. The Chief Minister also declared an incentive of Rs 500 to ensure free drop back transport services to pregnant women and sick infants availing services at public health facilities. The incentive will be transferred to the beneficiary’s bank account through direct benefit transfer. It would benefit over 6.5 lakh pregnant women and sick infants annually.
The amount of cashless health assistance for families covered under Biju Krushak Kalyan Yojana (BKKY) and Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) has been enhanced to Rs 5 lakh per annum. Any low-income family not covered under RSBY and BKKY can avail cashless health assistance up to Rs 5 lakh under Odisha State Treatment Fund (OSTF) as per income eligibility criteria.Under OSTF, the State Government was providing cashless health assistance up to Rs 3 lakh.