Odisha, which has till now not implemented Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet scheme—Ayushman Bharat or Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY)—may come on board. Odisha is one of the four states that have not implemented the scheme, aimed at providing free health care to the poor. The other three states are West Bengal, Delhi and Telangana. According to a source, Ayushman Bharat CEO Indu Bhushan had a discussion with the Odisha Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi recently on the issue. “The discussions were very productive and it is hoped that the scheme would be implemented very soon in the state,” he added. Indu Bhushan later also met the state health minister Naba Kishore Das. The Odisha government has so far been maintaining that its own health scheme—the Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana—was better than the Centre’s scheme and there was no need to implement Aysuhman Bharat in the state. However, after Lok Sabha elections, there has been a change in the approach of the Naveen Patnaik government, which has now decided to give a rethink on the issue. The source said there may be a few more rounds of meetings to come to a conclusive point. The state government has the challenge to converge the Central health scheme with the existing scheme of the Odisha government. The two sides need to explore how to share the expenses incurred at public hospitals because Odisha provides free services to everyone without distinguishing on the basis of income status.

 

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