Millennium Post

Swasthya Sathi covers more families than Ayushman Bharat, hospitalisation easier

Kolkata: The state government on Friday issued a statement explaining why Swasthya Sathi is more people-friendly than Ayushman Bharat.

It may be recalled that Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar had criticised the state government for not implementing Ayushman Bharat in Bengal.

The statement read Swasthya Sathi (SS) is a comprehensive health protection scheme which is one hundred per cent funded by the state government where as in Ayushman Bharat (AB) the Centre gives only 60 percent of the amount.

In Bengal, Ayushman Bharat targeted 1.12 crore families while under Swasthya Sathi at least 1.5 crore families have been covered. It may be mentioned that all the 1.12 crore families covered by Ayushman Bharat have already been covered by Swasthya Sathi.

In the Swasthya Sathi scheme, cards are being issued in the name of the woman head of the family as part of women empowerment. The scheme also covers the parents of both the husband and the spouse.

The statement further said that no smart card is provided to the beneficiaries in the Ayushman Bharat scheme. The beneficiaries have to pay Rs 30 per person to get a

printout containing details of their identity. Thus, a family of five persons will have to pay Rs 150.

However, the Swasthya Sathi card is given to the beneficiaries free of cost. As it is a smart card, there is no delay at the hospital regarding processing on account of server authentication that is required in Ayushman Bharat. The hospitalisation procedure is faster than Ayushman Bharat.

Swasthya Sathi scheme was launched by the state Health and Family Welfare department on December 30, 2016 which is earlier than Ayushman Bharat.

Under the Swasthya Sathi scheme, the Health departments keeps in touch with the stakeholders and their feedback is taken. The Health department said the implementation of the scheme has been done in a very transparent manner.

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