BJD’s national spokesperson Sasmit Patra alleged Union Education Minister and BJP candidate from Sambalpur constituency Dharmendra Pradhan and other BJP leaders were plotting to halt the BSKY programme. File
| Photo Credit: ANI

Amidst the escalating election fervour, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have exchanged barbs, alleging that their respective flagship health schemes have fallen short of expectations.

The BJD accused BJP of sabotaging Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojna (BSKY), the State-sponsored universal health coverage scheme.

“The BSKY health cards guarantee free treatment in any government hospital with no limit and ₹10 lakhs for women and ₹5 lakhs for men in private hospitals each year. For BSKY, there are 652 hospitals empanelled within Odisha and 164 premier hospitals empanelled across 16 States, and this number is growing,” said Sasmit Patra, BJD’s national spokesperson.

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Mr. Patra said more than 36 lakh patients had been treated in Odisha in the last year alone. “Due to BSKY, more than ₹3,000 crore of the needy people of Odisha could be saved in one year which they can now use for their socio-economic development.

In the last year about 1.5 lakh people were treated outside Odisha through BSKY and ₹385 crore could be saved through this, he said.

The BJD leader alleged Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and other BJP leaders were plotting to halt the BSKY programme. “If Mr. Pradhan believes BSKY is flawed, let the BJP pledge in their party manifesto to stop the BSKY health card,” he challenged.

On the other hand, the BJP charged that “the BJD has not adopted a central scheme, Ayushman Bharat, to benefit a select group of influential persons who are active in the health business.”

“Ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government came to power in 2014, medical colleges have come up across Odisha. All health infrastructures of the State have been strengthened due to central assistance. The State government, however, failed to fill up vacant posts of doctors, pharmacists and laboratory technicians,” said Sajjan Sharma, BJP spokesperson.

Mr. Sharma said when there was a requirement of 47,000 doctors, the State was managing with 27,000 doctors. “Similarly, 17,385 out of 28,285 nursing staff are lying vacant. As many as 998 pharmacists and 915 technician posts are yet to be filled up. The State’s healthcare is heading for disastrous phase due to incompetent government in Odisha,” he remarked.

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