February 22, 2019
Swasthya Sathi: Bangla beats Centre’s target by 28 lakh families
When the memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the Bangla Government and the Central Government for family health insurance, for combining Swasthya Sathi and Ayushmaan Bharat, the target set was to enlist 1.12 crore families.
However, when the scheme started to be implemented, the Centre started sending letters to the families with the prime minister’s photo on the letters, despite the State’s Swasthya Sathi playing a crucial role in building up the number of beneficiaries.
This rightly prompted Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to withdraw from the agreement and make the Bangla Government entirely responsible for the health insurance scheme. In terms of department, the scheme is run by the Health and Family Welfare Department.
Not only is the State entirely responsible for the scheme now, it has also increased the total number of beneficiary families to 1.5 crore, thus beating the Centre-set target by 28 lakh. There were already 54.76 lakh Swasthya Sathi beneficiary families in Bangla.
This has made the Bangla Government the first State Government to have so many families enlisted under a government health insurance scheme.
With the number of families increasing to 1.5 crore, the number of individual beneficiaries has now increased to about 7.5 crore. To pay the entire premium for these new families, the State Government would be spending more than Rs 850 crore additionally.
The benefits of Swasthya Sathi are available at 1,300 hospitals (including 745 private ones) registered under the scheme.
Another facility under the scheme, as part of the State Government’s efforts for the empowerment of women, is the providing of Swasthya Sathi smart cards to female members of the beneficiary families.
To know all the details regarding Swasthya Sathi, including how to get the smart cards, contact the nearest BDO or municipality office, or call the toll-free number, 1800 345 5384, or visit the website, swasthyasathi.gov.in.