Odisha's Chief Minister, Naveen Pattnaik, distributed smart health cards in various districts in the city to make healthcare accessible to the marginalised communities. This comes under the 'Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojna' (BKSY) that is the state's plan working towards providing the necessary amenities under healthcare to each and every individual.
Since August 2021, Pattnaik has been travelling to several districts around the state to officially distribute them. Today, he addressed the people in Mayurbhanj where he did the needful and announced several other developmental measures as well.
The state government aims to expand the healthcare initiative. When it was launched three years ago, it covered only 71 lakh families. Now, it will have 96 lakh households under to whom it will provide the necessary benefit. Quoted by The Times of India, Naveen Pattnaik said that healthcare should not be denied to anyone due to financial constraints. "Under the revised scheme, the beneficiaries won't have to produce any document at the hospitals to avail its benefit. He or she can simply go to the hospital with a smart card and avail cashless treatment without any hassle. It is the first of its kind in the entire country," said the CM.
The card allows each family to get free treatment up to ₹5 lakh where as women will be able to avail the benefits up to ₹10 lakhs in 200 hospitals around the state. Pattnaik added, "The smart health card will reduce the burden on families to bear treatment cost. People can spend their savings on education of their children and for other household expenses."
'A Paradigm Shift'
The state's CM called this initiative a 'paradigm shift' when it comes to the country's healthcare system. Despite incessant pleas made by the BJP opposition leaders to implement the Ayushman Bharat scheme in the state, the BKSY was implemented. Stating that every life is precious, he emphasised the fact how financial constraints should not stop anyone to avail of healthcare services, which are nothing but a person's fundamental right to do so.