Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee opts out Central’s big health program and she announced it in Krishnanagar public meeting. West Bengal had become the first state to opt out of the world’s largest government-funded healthcare programme.
West Bengal government claimed that it had already enrolled 50 lakh people under its own Swasthya Sathi programme. Mamata Banerjee said during a public meeting in Krishnanagar on Tuesday that the Centre has drawn up a health plan in which 40% of the fund has to come from states. But why should the state spend on another programme when it already has its own?
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced two new initiatives under the Ayushman Bharat Programme in the Union Budget 2018. Under the programme, Mr. Jaitley announced a new flagship National Health Protection Scheme, providing a health insurance cover of ₹5 lakh a family per annum. The scheme will cover 10 crore vulnerable families, with approximately 50 crore beneficiaries.
Mr. Jaitley also announced the creation of health and wellness centres, which will “bring healthcare closer to home”. These centres, 1.5 lakh in number, will provide free essential drugs and diagnostic services. A sum of Rs. 1200 crore had been allocated for this.