Don’t oppose ‘Ayushman Bharat’ for political reasons: Dharmendra to CM

Bhubaneswar: In the wake of the State’s rejection of ‘Ayushman Bharat Scheme’, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan today appealed to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik not to oppose the pro-poor health care scheme for greater interest of the people of Odisha.

“You may criticise the Centre in political matter, but when it comes to the interest of poor people, you must not oppose the scheme for mere political reasons. As many as 61 lakh families would benefit under the programme, Pradhan said at a press meet in Bhubaneswar.

The scheme is world’s largest health care scheme through which 50 crore people of India will benefit. But Odisha government is opposing it only due to political differences with PM, Pradhan added.

Hitting out at the Chief Minister, the Petroleum minister said Patnaik may not understand the central scheme properly. “He should have consulted his officials before taking such a decision to oppose it,” the Union minister said.

Reacting to BJD’s allegation that the Central scheme is insurance based, Pradhan said the ruling regional party is misleading the people over the scheme. The State government-appointed health advisor Srinath Reddy also appreciated the Ayushman Bharat through a column, Pradhan pointed out.

He further stated that the Odisha government claimed to have improved the health care facilities in State. “I want to ask them when there is one bed for three patients in State hospitals, what kind of development in health sector they are talking about,” Pradhan asked.

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