On Tuesday, the Odisha Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik made an announcement of a scheme under the garb of his late father and founder of BJD, Biju Patnaik who is considered as one of the notable architects of present day Odisha. The chief minister has launched an ambitious health assistance scheme for the people of Odisha which would account for explicit benefits to almost 70 lakh families in the state. The health assurance scheme will be termed as the ‘Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana’ which will be put into effect from August 15 which is also the launch date for the scheme.
The scheme was announced by the Chief Minister after comprehensive review of the different development activities of the health department on Tuesday at the state secretariat. The announcement of the state government on Tuesday also referred to the exclusion of various user fees that are collected from patients at hospitals run by the state government.
According to the statement of the Chief Minister, the Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana would entitle 70 lakh people with health assistance of Rs. 5 lakh in which five members of a family would receive the scheme’s benefits. Furthermore a press release from the chief minister’s office stated that the scheme is not for health insurance but for health assurance wherein the complete cost would be the liability of the state government.
The scheme implies the availability of benefits in all government hospitals including district hospitals and sub-centers where all health services and medications would be facilitated free of cost up to the limit of Rs. 5 lakh. The review of deaths of pregnant women due to non-availability of ambulances was also taken into consideration by the chief minister as he made the announcement regarding financial assistance of Rs. 500 to pregnant women that come for treatment. A press release also confirmed that the financial assistance under the scheme could be extended to ill children and newborns that come to hospitals for treatment. According to officials, the scheme would provide favorable benefits to 6.5 lakh pregnant women and children.