West Bengal chief minister extended the benefits of the state health insurance programme Swastha Sathi, which offers cashless treatment benefit up to Rs 5 lakh in private hospitals per family, to all the residents of the state. “All Bengali families will now be able to avail this benefit. Anyone who does not have a health insurance can avail it. Treatment in our government hospitals is free in any case.
This card will come handy in about 1,500 enlisted private health facilities. We had earlier planned to bring 7.5 crore people under this scheme but now we extend it to 10 crore people,” Mamata said.
The state population was recorded slightly above 9 crore in 2011 and current estimates claim that West Bengal has a population of 10 crore.
“Ayushman Bharat would have covered only 1.5 crore people. We are covering 10 crore people. For Ayushman Bharat, the card-holder too would have required to contribute. Here, the card-holder does not need to contribute,” the CM said adding that the scheme will altogether cost the state exchequer Rs 2,000 crore. With a woman in the family as the holder of the card, parents of married women can also avail the benefits of this cashless insurance, she added.
The decision comes amid the BJP’s consistent campaign that the state government was depriving the people of the state by not implementing the Ayushman Bharat scheme launched by the government of India.