Matters of health should not be politicised: West Bengal guv (Eds: Correcting figure in para 6) Ko

Matters of health should not be politicised: West Bengal guv (Eds: Correcting figure in para 6) Kolkata, Nov 7 (PTI) West Bengal Governor JagdeepDhankhar on Thursday said people in this state were beingdeprived of the benefits of the Centre's flagship healthscheme - Ayushman Bharat Yojana -- and stressed that 'suchmatters should not be politicised'.

The governor also claimed that he had received around3000 applications from all over the state, seeking immediatemedical assistance.

'It has not been 100 days since I have taken charge asthe governor. And l have received around 3000 applicationsfrom all over the state seeking medical assistance during thisperiod. I have examined these applications and found out thatthey were all eligible for Centre's Ayushman scheme,' Dhankharsaid on the sidelines of a programme here.

'I have also come to know that the applicants couldhave taken benefits of state-run schemes. Despite that if theyare writing to the Raj Bhavan then there was something thatneeded to be looked into,' he stated.

Dhankhar claimed that he wanted to reach out to theones in need but his funds were limited.

'The governor has a large heart but a small fund of Rs2 crore... while an MP gets about Rs 5 crore. In moststates, MLAs have Rs 2-4 crore (as funds). Here (inWest Bengal), I have been told that MLAs have a fund of Rs 60lakh. Of the Rs 2 crore that have been allotted to me, Ihave about 18 items to deal with,' he maintained.

The swelling number of applications reflected thestate of healthcare in West Bengal, Dhankar said.

'If I am getting 3000 applications in three months,seeking health assistance, it is definitely reflective of thestate of situation in the state,' he asserted.

'I somehow find it incongruous why a central schemethat makes available such a great facility, which has beenrecognised all over the world, is not being adopted here forthe benefit of people,' he stated.

The Ayushman Bharat Yojana, launched in 2018, providesan annual health cover of Rs 5 lakh for secondary and tertiarycare hospitalisation through a network of Empanelled HealthCare Providers. There is no cap on family size and age.

The state government pulled out of the scheme inJanuary this year, accusing the Narendra Modi-led NDAgovernment of making 'tall claims' under the programme.

The governor, who has been at loggerheads with theMamata Banerjee government over several issues, said noteverything should be politicized.

'Health should be kept above politics. Access tohealthcare facilities should not be denied to people onaccount of their financial situation,' he maintained.

The governor insisted that those in power should workin harmony for the benefit of commoners.

'If a big benefit can be made available to a citizen,the 'aam aadmi' of state, then people (policy makers) shouldwork in harmony to ensure that he gets it. Every rupee thatcan help the people of West Bengal matters. In a federalsystem, if help comes from the Centre, we must accept it.' The West Bengal government had in 2016 floated a GroupHealth Protection scheme - 'Swasthya Sathi' - which offersfinancial coverage up to Rs 1.5 lakh per annum per familythrough insurance mode for secondary and tertiary care and upto Rs 5 lakh for critical diseases such as cancer andcardiological diseases through assurance mode. PTI SCH RMSRMS RMS