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Will Accept Modicare on Our Terms, Naveen to PM

Chief minister Naveen Patnaik wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying that Odisha would implement the Center’s health scheme, popular as Modicare, if it “addresses the concerns of the state”. Naveen’s offer comes days after his government declared its own health scheme replacing Modicare, the official name of which is the National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS). In his letter, Naveen said the Center’s scheme would keep about eight lakh families in the state out of its purview because of its reliance on the Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC)-2011 for its implementation. He added, “We will still be willing to consider joining NHPS in due course if the concerns of the state are addressed adequately.”

Under the current norms, NHPS, which is also known as Ayushman Bharat, will cover 61 lakh families identified under SECC – 48 lakh in the first phase and the rest in the second one. “It is my firm belief that we should move towards a system of near universal coverage. The dependence on SECC will be a serious handicap in achieving this. As you will agree, the SECC survey done on the criteria fixed by the UPA government has grave lacunae and many genuine poor have been left out,” Naveen wrote. – TOI