Odisha Government Launches first-of-its-kind Smart Health Card Service in India

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It’s a historic paradigm shift in the healthcare services in India where a patient will get the best treatment without any expense.

Ahead of the local body elections next year, the Chief Minister of Odisha Naveen Patnaik on Friday launched the Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (BSKY) Smart Health Card from the tribal-dominated district of Malkangiri.

As per the Odisha CMO, this Smart Health Card is an initiative to change the face of healthcare services for the people of Odisha and is a first-of-its-kind service in the entire country.

The Smart Health Card Scheme: –

Handing the first such intelligent health card to a tribal woman, Sukri Dhangda Majhi, belonging to the primitive Bonda tribe, CM Naveen said that each life is precious and money should never be a hindrance in availing treatment.

Under this scheme, the beneficiary families can avail cashless health treatment upto Rs 5 lakh per year, while women members of that family can avail of treatment upto to Rs 10 lakh.

With this card, people can avail quality healthcare treatment in as many as 200 hospital chains all over India, including Odisha.

About 3.5 crore people from 9.6 million families out of the total 4.3 crore population of the state will be benefited through this scheme.

The smartcards come with a 64kb chip that will have the details of the family members as well as a 12-digit unique registration code. Each family will be provided two cards in case two people fall ill at the same time.

A statement released by the Odisha CMO states that in this type of ‘no-frills’ system, a person with an innovative health card will simply go to a hospital and avail of all the required treatments without any hassle.

It’s a historic paradigm shift in the healthcare services in India where a patient will get the best treatment without any expense.

In Phase I, the cards will be distributed in Malkangiri, Sundargarh, Balangir, Gajapati and Mayurbhanj districts before covering the remaining 26 districts of the state by November.

The beneficiaries can start availing the healthcare facilities under the scheme from 1st September.

The Old BSKY Scheme: –

The BSKY Smart Health Card is a new version of the BSKY Scheme that was first launched in 2018 to reduce the extremely high out-of-pocket expenses for health.

Under the old BSKY scheme, over 7.1 million farmer families, as well as people receiving food grains under the Antodaya Anna Yojana, could get identity cards through which they could avail treatment in the empanelled private hospitals.

From the beginning of the next month, those who have the smart health card can produce it at the hospitals for treatment, while those who don’t have it can avail the treatment under the 2018 BSKY Scheme by showing the NFSA or SFSA card for helping cashless treatment up to the annual financial limit.

In addition to this new scheme, the Odisha government recently also announced the creation of over a thousand posts of nursing officials in various medical colleges, Primary Health Care Centres, Community Health Care Centres, etc.

Thus all these initiatives suggest a greater intent to move away from freebie politics towards creating healthcare infrastructure.

BSKY vs Ayushmann Bharat: –

Earlier, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had requested the Odisha government to announce the Union government’s flagship health insurance program – Ayushman Bharat Yojana.

He claimed that Odisha’s migrant population would have got access to quality healthcare services in the states they are residing in had the government of Odisha implemented the Ayushman Bharat scheme.

Comparing the State and Central health coverage schemes, BJD MLA Pranab Prakash Das said that there are no unique benefits for women in the Central system.

While Odisha’s BSKY provides unique coverage of Rs 10 lakh per year for the women members of the family.

He further stated that the BSKY savvy cardholders could avail treatment in big private hospitals like Apollo and Fortis, while there is no such facility under Ayushman Bharat.

Additionally, Ayushman Bharat provides a health cover of 5 lakh per family per year at government hospitals, while Odisha’s BSKY has unlimited health coverage at government hospitals.

Moreover, if Ayushman Bharat is to be implemented in Odisha, only 6 million families can be covered under it. However, the BSKY Scheme covers over 9.6 million families in Odisha.

Ayush Gala
Ayush Gala
Apart from being a percussionist and a cricket enthusiast, it's the unfolding tumultuous events of Geopolitics and International Relations that give me the adrenaline rush I crave for. And what better than sharing this adrenaline rush about these and various other topics with the people as well! And thus started my content writing journey, somewhat casually, but over time it's really become something I love doing! "Easy reading is damn hard writing" Well, thats always been my endeavour while writing, so that the readers not just consume, but absorb the content and derive utility from it!

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