Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday announced that his government will provide smart health cards to 3.5 crore people in the state under the Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana. Beneficiaries of national and state food security schemes, and Annapurna and Antyodaya initiatives will get the cards under which women can avail treatment up to Rs 10 lakh per year and other family members will get the benefit up to Rs 5 lakh each.
Addressing the state programme to celebrate the 75th Independence Day, organised with strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols, he said that the initiative will usher in a new era in the state's health sector.
"News like people selling land and valuables or dropping their children out of schools to manage their treatment costs pains me. Hence, I have decided to take away such distress and provide hassle-free treatment to people at best available health care facilities," he said.
Noting that the initiative will cover 3.5 crore people in 96 lakh families in a phased manner, Patnaik claimed that Odisha is the first state in the country to provide such smart health cards. He said that the beneficiaries can avail health services in more than 200 hospital chains across the country including Odisha and it will strengthen the health security of the people of the state.
After unfurling the National Flag at the Unit-3 Exhibition Ground here, Patnaik thanked soldiers guarding India's borders and paid tributes to freedom fighters. He said that Odisha is setting new milestones in various spheres and is showing the way to others to fight the COVID pandemic.
"Odisha is better-placed than many other states in the fight against COVID-19. We supplied oxygen to 17 states for two months during the second wave and saved many lives," the chief minister said.
Noting that his government is sponsoring the Indian national hockey teams since 2018 which performed stupendously in the recently concluded Tokyo Olympics, he said, "Our effort was to promote hockey and make the nation proud."
He said 32,000 schools in the state will be transformed under the 'Mo School Abhijaan', of which 1,072 have been developed in the first phase.
The main features of this new provision are:
- 3.5 crore people of 96 lakh families will get this Smart Health Card.
- Odisha is the first state in the country to provide such Smart Health Cards.
- This card will be given to all the beneficiaries phase-wise.
- Beneficiaries of National and State Food Security Schemes, Annapurna and Antodaya beneficiaries will get this card.
- Each family can avail of treatment cost up to Rs 5 lakh per annum. Women members can avail this benefit up to Rs 10 lakh every year.
The beneficiaries can avail of health services in more than 200 hospital chains of the country including Odisha. It will go a long way in strengthening health security of people of Odisha.