Mamata Banerjee: Bengal health scheme Swasthya Sathi now for all

The West Bengal government has now extended its free healthcare scheme, Swasthya Sathi, to all residents across the state for those who have not subscribed to any other health insurance. During the upcoming state government drive moving door to door with its various schemes, people can enlist themselves for the healthcare scheme in camps, chief minister Mamata Banerjee said at a press conference on Thursday.

Under this scheme – to come into effect from December 1, 2020 – every family that does not have an existing health insurance — can enrol for the scheme under which medical treatment will be free at all the enlisted hospitals. This not only includes all the state government’s medical colleges and hospitals but also free treatment at AIIMS, Delhi and CMC, Vellore. Treatment at private hospitals would be reimbursed by the government for up to Rs 5 lakh per year, per family. There are over 1,500 hospitals included in the scheme. For opening up the health scheme to all, there will be additional 2.5 crore beneficiaries and the government will spend Rs 2,000 crore annually on it.

The state government is targetting to first include the poor – rickshaw pullers, autorickshaw drivers, domestic helps, skilled and unskilled labourers in various sectors – in the scheme, Banerjee said.

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