Bengal first to opt out of Modi’s healthcare plan

Bengal has become the first state to opt out of the ambitious National Health Protection Scheme unveiled in the Union Budget — and dubbed ‘Modicare’ — with chief minister Mamata Banerjee announcing that the state will not “waste” its hard-earned resources to contribute its share of 40% to the programme.

“The Centre has drawn up a health plan in which 40% of the fund has to come from state governments. But why should the state spend on another programme when it already has its own scheme? A state will have its own scheme if it has the resources,” the Bengal CM said, adding: “We have made hospitalisation and treatment free in Bengal. We have done it even after the Centre takes away Rs.48,000 crore a year for debt-servicing the loan liability left behind by the preceding CPM government.”

Banerjee, speaking at a public meeting in Krishnagar, pointed out that the Bengal government had already enrolled 50 lakh people under its own Swasthya Sathi programme. 

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