Shimla, May 14 : Four BJP-ruled north Indian states and one Union Territory signed a pact here on Monday with the National Health Mission to implement government of India's Ayushman Bharat scheme that aims to provide free treatment to the poor.
However, Congress-ruled Punjab refused to sign the memorandum of understanding (MoU), saying the state had "some issues that needs to be resolved first before the scheme launch".
"We have some reservations.
The Punjab government is running some health insurance schemes. We are yet to study the convergence of existing schemes with this one. We also have issues about 60:40 ratio of funding by the Centre," Punjab Health Minister Brahm Mohindra said.
"We are not averse to the new scheme.
It is a matter of time. Let them address our objections first," he said, adding "I have spoken to the Union Health Minister. He has invited me to Delhi to discuss the issues".
The states and the Union Territory that signed the memorandum are Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana and Chandigarh.
Speaking on the occasion, Nadda said the government's health insurance scheme, Ayushman Bharat, would promote wellness centres for preventive and curative care, benefiting over 10 crore families living below the poverty line in the country.
Universal health check-up would be ensured for the people before they attain the age of 30. 1.50 lakh health sub centres in the country would be converted into wellness centres for early detection of diseases, he added.
Treatment of all major ailments has been covered in the scheme.
Appreciating the move by the five states, he said the MoU would go a long way in providing health cover to the masses.
State Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said, Ayushman Bharat was the biggest health insurance scheme in the world and had the potential to bring revolution in the health sector.
Union Secretary for Health and Family Welfare Preeti Sudan said the role of the scheme would be consultative and the major role would be of the state governments, adding that the Central government would provide all possible help to the states for its implementation.