Over 6 lakh people belonging to poor families in Odisha availed of cashless and free treatment in several private hospitals under the state government's health scheme, Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (BSKY), in 2022, officials said. As many as 6.31 lakh poor people, having either the BSKY smart card or the PDS card, were provided high-quality and free treatment in different speciality hospitals in the private sector from January 1 to December 25 this year.
The information was revealed at a recent performance review meeting chaired by Health and Family Welfare secretary Shalini Pandit, the officials said. The state government has paid around Rs 1,389 crore to the empanelled private sector hospitals towards free treatment of the poor patients, she said. Chief Executive Officer of State Health Assurance Society Dr Brundha D said these patients were from all 30 districts of Odisha.
The patients were also provided hand-holding support by the ‘Swasthya Mitras’ engaged by the Odisha government in these hospitals. The state government had introduced ‘Swasthya Mitra’ service to guide and assist BSKY beneficiaries at empanelled hospitals for treatment. The problems and grievances relating to the use of cards, cashless treatment and other matters were immediately attended to and resolved in a time-bound manner keeping in view the emergency requirement of the patients.
Pandit stressed the need for intensifying IEC (information and education campaign) and awareness-building activities about BSKY in remote areas of Gajpati, Kandhamal, Sonepur, Nuapada, Rayagada, Nabrangpur, Koraput and Malkangiri districts so that people get the requisite information and assistance for high-quality clinical care. Odisha is one of the few states that have not accepted the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY), the Central government’s health coverage scheme for the poor. Ever since Ayushman Bharat was launched in September 2018, Odisha has not implemented it, claiming that its own scheme is superior.