BJP To Collect Signatures From 1 Crore Locals To Push For Ayushman Bharat In Odisha

| October 9 , 2018 , 10:03 IST

In a bid to pressure the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) government in Odisha to join the Ayushman Bharat healthcare scheme launched by the NDA-led Centre, the Odisha unit of BJP on Monday announced that it would collect signatures of at least 1 crore locals in favour of implementation of the scheme.

"The party will collect signatures of about one crore Odias demanding implementation of the Centre's Ayushman Bharat Yojana and submit it to the governor as a memorandum before the Durga Puja," BJP state president Basant Panda said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 23 launched the world's largest government-funded healthcare programme Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan AarogyaYojana (AB-PMJAY) to benefit 50 crore Indians.

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While the scheme will be implemented in nearly 31 states and union territories, others including Telangana, Odisha, Delhi, Kerala and Punjab have not signed on to the programme with the Centre.

The Odisha state government had in June itself refused to implement the Ayushman Bharat scheme, claiming that its own health scheme 'Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana' had more beneficiaries and was 'much better' than Ayushman Bharat.

State Health minister Pratap Jena said, "The Centre had rejected our proposal to include 70 lakh families in the Ayushman Bharat Programme and forced us to take only 61 lakh families. Therefore, we preferred to frame our own scheme."

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The Ayushman Bharat programme is being funded with 60 percent contribution from the Centre and the remaining from the states.

The coverage provided by the Ayushman Bharat scheme will be applicable for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation and provide cashless and paperless access to services for beneficiaries at the point of service.

To access the benefits of the scheme at government and empanelled private hospitals, the concerned patient would only have to establish his or her identity, either through Aadhaar card, election card or ration card. However, having an Aadhaar card is not mandatory.