The West Bengal became the first state to opt out of Centre’s National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS) announced in Union Budget 2018-19. According to State Government, it has already made hospitalisation and medical treatment free for its citizens and has already enrolled 50 lakh people under its Swasthya Sathi programme.
National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS)
NHPS (Ayushman Bharat Scheme) dubbed ‘Modicare’ seeks to provide health insurance of Rs 5 Lakh to 10 crore poor and vulnerable households. Under it, up to Rs 5 lakh insurance cover will be provided to each family per year in secondary and tertiary care institutions.
NHPS will have 50 crore beneficiaries, making it world’s largest government-funded healthcare programme to provide quality health cover to population larger than combined citizenry of US, UK, Germany and France.
The Centre had drawn up health plan for the scheme in which 40% of fund for the scheme has to come from state. Under it, the central government will contribute Rs 2,000 crore to scheme out of a total cost of Rs 5,500-6,000 crore – the remaining amount is to be paid by the state governments.