Odisha junks ‘Modi­care’ for Biju health scheme

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES NATION - Ashok.Prad­han@ times­group.com

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha gov­ern­ment said on Thurs­day it would not im­ple­ment Modi­care be­cause its own health scheme, an­nounced on Tues­day, was bet­ter than the for­mer. The state is now the fourth, af­ter Delhi, Pun­jab and West Ben­gal, to re­ject Modi­care, of­fi­cially known as the Ayush­man Bharat Na­tional Health Pro­tec­tion Mis­sion.

State health min­is­ter Pratap Jena said, “Our Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yo­jana is bet­ter than the Cen­tre’s health scheme and will come into ef­fect from In­de­pen­dence Day.” The scheme, which the me­dia has named “Naveen­care”, prom­ises up to Rs 5 lakh health as­sis­tance to 70 lakh fam­i­lies in em­pan­elled hos­pi­tals.

“Com­pared to this, Ayush­man Bharat covers only 61 lakh fam­i­lies, which means de­priv­ing nine lakh fam­i­lies, con­sist­ing of 45 lakh peo­ple, of health ben­e­fits,” Jena said.

A se­nior gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial said Modi­care, like the state scheme, of­fers health as­sis­tance of up to Rs 5 lakh but it is not in­sur­ance-based. The state scheme will be run by a trust that will re­im­burse the hospi­tal­i­sa­tion costs of el­i­gi­ble pa­tients. State BJP vi­cepres­i­dent Sameer Mo­hanty de­scribed as a “po­lit­i­cal move” the BJD gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion to stay out of the scheme.

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