NEW DELHI: Union minister Harsh Vardhan made a sharp attack on Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on the issue of the Ayushman Bharat scheme, saying that state policies are yet to be implemented for more than four years.
Vardhan’s riposte came a day after Kejriwal had claimed that Delhi’s health scheme was much better than the Centre’s flagship health insurance scheme and has been functioning well for the past two years.
“All your fancy schemes, including the much-touted Universal Coverage Health Scheme, announced more than a year ago, are still lying on the drawing boards awaiting implementation even after four and a half years. Your Mohalla Clinics are an utter flop and the drastic neglect of patient care in Delhi government hospitals is there for all to see,” Vardhan wrote in a letter to Kejriwal.
The war of words between central and state government began a few days ago after Vardhan urged four states, including Delhi, to implement the NDA’s scheme.
At the very beginning, Vardhan made it known that he was “deeply anguished” over Kejriwal’s response shared on a social media platform. “I am surprised that as a Chief Minister of Delhi you have chosen to be so flippant and calious in your attitude that you have used Twitter to respond to my request for implementation of Ayushman Bharat, instead of replying to me in a proper manner.”
On Saturday, the Union Minister stated that the response shows that Kejriwal is least bothered in the welfare of Delhiites. He added that the claim that Delhi is implementing free health care is “baseless”.
Vardhan stated that while all states can claim to be providing free health care through government hospitals, in reality, citizens still have to spend a lot from their pocket to get the so-called “free treatment”.
The minister said that the proposed scheme of the Delhi government can be linked with the PMJAY for enhanced cover for the poor and vulnerable population of Delhi as they will not only get ready access to private hospitals but will also be able to get benefits across the country.
At the end of the letter, Vardhan once again urged Kejriwal to implement the Ayushman Bharat scheme.