Naveen Patnaik govt. to cover 90% of Odisha’s population under cashless care in private hospitals

Third phase of Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana, State’s own universal health coverage, has been launched covering all population except income tax payees and government employees

December 29, 2023 12:53 pm | Updated January 01, 2024 12:38 pm IST - BHUBANESWAR

Chief Minister of Odisha Naveen Patnaik.

Chief Minister of Odisha Naveen Patnaik. | Photo Credit: Biswaranjan Rout

In what could be a major pre-poll announcement, the Naveen Patnaik Government has expanded the scope of Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (BSKY), State’s own universal health coverage, extending cashless care to all rural families in private hospitals.

Now, BSKY will cover the entire population except income tax payees and government employees in the State. Big farmers and people above poverty line (APL), who are not paying income taxes in villages, will be benefited by the announcement.

With this third phase of expansion, it is estimated that over 1.10 crore families, covering nearly 90% of the population of the State, will be provided health assurance under BSKY.

“We are now launching the third phase of BSKY, where all left out families of rural areas of our State will be assured of cashless care in private hospitals, for critical ailments. In this phase of expansion, all rural families of Odisha (except regular government employees and income tax payees), who are presently not covered under BSKY, will be eligible to receive the ‘BSKY Nabin Card’,” said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in a statement on Friday.

Over 45 lakh people receive free healthcare in Odisha

The BSKY, which is dubbed as a major welfare measure of the Naveen Patnaik Government was launched five years ago providing health assurance to citizens.

According to the statement, in the first phase of BSKY, all services in public health facilities were made free of cost for all persons, irrespective of income or residence  while in the second phase, BSKY provided cashless healthcare in private health facilities for all ration card holders.

At present, over 45 lakh persons receive free healthcare at public health facilities in the State, while 1.3 lakh persons receive cashless care every month under BSKY. Private hospitals are paid ₹260 crore toward treatment of BSKY beneficiaries each month.

The State government further said that nearly 21 lakh patients had availed benefits under BSKY while the amount spent on cashless healthcare in private hospitals alone was about ₹4,500 crores in the past five years.x

‘BSKY better than Ayushman Bharat’

As per BSKY norm, family members are entitled to cashless care of ₹5 lakh per annum and up to ₹10 lakh for women members of the family, in empanelled private hospitals both inside and outside the State, for identified critical illnesses.

“It has thus become a unique model for universal health coverage, leveraging the strengths of both the public and private sectors to provide comprehensive health assurance to the people of Odisha,” said Mr. Patnaik.

Also read: Our health scheme better than Ayushman Bharat, says Naveen

The Odisha CM said this would ensure that no family in Odisha is left vulnerable due to lack of financial resources to meet high expenditure for critical illnesses; thus fulfilling the promise of universal health coverage for the people of Odisha.

The Biju Janata Dal Government has been refusing to be part of Ayushman Bharat, Centre’s flagship scheme to achieve the vision of Universal Health Coverage (UHC). The State government contends that BSKY is better performing scheme than Ayushman Bharat.

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