Millennium Post

Swasthya Sathi project should be role model for Ayushman Bharat scheme: Santanu Sen

Kolkata: Dr Santanu Sen, Rajya Sabha MP from Trinamool Congress on Monday strongly advocated in favour of Swasthya Sathi project run by the Bengal government and urged the members of the committee saying that it can be adopted as a role model.

During the First Parliamentary Health Standing Committee Meeting in Delhi, Dr Sen pointed questions before the committee on various health related issues. Stressing on Swasthya Sathi, a brain child of the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and one of the most successful projects in the state, Dr Sen pointed out the Centre must come up with a health scheme similar to the Swasthya Sathi.

In reply to a question raised by CEO Ayushman Bharat Indu Bhushan, Dr Sen asked why people in Bengal were receiving post cards with photographs of the Prime Minister claiming the Ayushman Bharat as the Centre's scheme. Sen also pointed out that state government used to bear 40 per cent of the total cost.

During the meeting, Bhushan claimed Bengal continued Ayushman Bharat for 3 to 4 months, then suddenly discontinued just before Parliament Election because of unknown reason. Dr Sen reacted sharply to Bhushan and presented counter facts.

The meeting was conducted on the topic of Ayushman Bharat where senior officials of the Union Health Ministry were also present. Bhushan said that even in China no health policy is portable but Ayushman is portable.

Dr Sen on the other hand said that China spends 5.5% of GDP on health while India spends 1.1 % and it should follow China in this aspect. Sen raised a series of questions which include as why there was no grievance redressal system, if there is a gross fallacy in selecting beneficiaries or if there is any clear budgetary allocation for Aysuhman Bharat. He also questioned on the necessity of involving insurance companies. If there is no strict claim settlement policy then small to medium level hospitals cannot sustain for long as they might not have much funds to survive, he pointed out.

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