BJP MPs from Odisha on Thursday urged Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya to put pressure on the Odisha government for implementation of Ayushman Bharat scheme in the state.
A delegation of state BJP MPs including three Union Ministers Dharmendra Pradhan, Ashwini Vaishnaw and Bishweswar Tudu met Mandaviya in the national capital and submitted a memorandum to put forth their demand.
Almost all the states in the country irrespective of political parties are utilising the Central government health scheme to benefit the people except Odisha and few others, denying the benefits of this well-crafted universal health scheme to citizens in Odisha, the MPs said in their memo.
They said the dwindling healthcare scenario of Odisha coupled with absence of Ayushman Bharat scheme is a major bane for Odia people living in and outside the state.
The universal health coverage in Odisha remains sporadic because of inequitable distribution of medical resources across the state.
Poor rural healthcare infrastructure, gaping holes in medical and paramedic staff positioning, and access to diagnostics facilities remain major challenges in accessing healthcare services, the MPs said.
Acute shortage of medical staff and those in administrative positions are languishing in the state. Per capita availability of doctors and hospital beds are also one of the lowest in the country, they pointed out.
The BJP MPs further said Odisha has been ranked 14th for overall health performance among 19 large states in 2019-20, which is lower than nearby states like Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.
On state government’s own Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojna (BSKY), the parliamentarians said, has limitation to cater to the tertiary healthcare needs of Odia people as it does not have a pan India portability/admissibility, enough number of empanelled hospitals, robust and fraud free claim settlement process.
Also, Odisha is prone to distress migration which forces nearly 33.45 per cent of families in rural Odisha to migrate to other states in search of work. An estimated population of 1 crore Odias live outside the state for their livelihood, the MPs further pointed out.
Stating Ayushman Bharat is a game changer and an opportunity to serve the poor, the Odisha BJP MPs urged the Union Health Minister to pursue the government of Odisha to opt for Ayushman Bharat scheme in the larger interest of people of Odisha, especially the migrant workers’ population.