Bengal has become the first state in the country to opt out of the most ambitious national health protection scheme revealed in the union budget this month. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, while announcing the state government’s decision to opt out of the healthcare scheme, also slammed the Centre for not consulting the states before unveiling the plan.
Banerjee at a public meeting in krishnanagar said that Bengal government had already enrolled 50 lakh people under its own swasthya sathi programme.
In the public meeting she also added that the state will not “waste its hard-earned resources” in the programme. Under the provisions of the National Health Protection Scheme, the Centre will contribute Rs 2,000 crore to the scheme, out of a total cost of Rs 5,500 crore to Rs 6,000 crore. State governments are expected to pay the remainder.
Banerjee said West Bengal already has made hospitalisation and medical treatment free of cost for its citizens, so it doesn’t see the point of spending on a separate programme that will do the same. Moreover her programme the swasthya sathi plan provides health coverage up to 1.5 lakh to 50 lakh families in state. Up to 5lakh is paid for some severe illness.