By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, June 5, 2024: The new Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Odisha will soon implement the Ayushman Bharat scheme for the people living in and outside the state, the state party president Manmohan Samal said on Wednesday.

Samal said the Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (BSKY) health cards introduced by the outgoing Naveen government will be discontinued due to their limited scope and be replaced by the central government’s Ayushman Bharat scheme after the formation of the new government.

BSKY was a health insurance card issued by the outgoing Biju Janata Dal and provided free treatment up to Rs 5 lakh for male members and Rs 10 lakh for female family members annually.

Odisha is one of only four states that have not implemented the Modi government’s flagship health coverage scheme for the poor, the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY).

The Naveen Patnaik government had reasoned that the state scheme was more beneficial to the people.

However Samal justified introduction of AB-PMJAY saying, “Common people will get 100% of Rs five lakh and there will be no limitation for treatment. Ayushman Bharat is a populist scheme and it will be implemented after the new government takes oath.” The BJP government will start delivering on its election promises.

Samal criticised hospitals that have reportedly stopped honouring the BSKY health card on the grounds that the government has withdrawn the card.

“The change of government is a process, and using this as a pretext to deprive people of healthcare is a social and constitutional offence. Patients should not be deprived of healthcare benefits on account of this. The administration should keep a close eye on such false rumour,” he said.

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