West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar today got involved in yet another face-off with the Mamata Banerjee government a day after he came down heavily on the state higher education system on Wednesday.
While addressing a conference organised by medical physicists in the city today, he lashed out at the healthcare system led by chief minister Miss Banerjee in the state.
“People of Bengal are being deprived of the benefits of the Central government scheme ~ Ayushman Bharat because of politics that I found in every issue here in the state. Health should not be politicised,” Dhankhar told reporters.
“It has not been 100 days since I have taken charge as the Governor. I have received around 3,000 applications from all over the state seeking immediate medical assistance. I have examined all those applications and found that all of them were eligible for the Ayushman Bharat scheme, that is also globally recognised,” the Governor said.
“If I am getting 3,000 applications in three months seeking health assistance, it is definitely reflective of the condition of healthcare in the state,” Dhankhar said.
“I somehow find it incongruous why a Central scheme that makes available such a great facility, which has been recognised all over the world, is not being adopted here for the benefit of people,” he said. “I have also come to know that the applicants could have taken benefits of the state-run schemes. Despite that, if they are writing to the Raj Bhaban, then there is something that needed to be looked into,” he felt. He expressed his desire to reach out to the people in need but said his funds were limited.
“The Governor has a large heart but a small fund of two crore rupees while an MP gets about five crore rupees. In most states, MLAs have two to four crore rupees as funds. Here in the state, I have been told that MLAs have a fund of Rs 60 lakh. Of the two crore rupees allotted to me, I have 18 items to deal with,” he added.
The state government pulled out of the Ayushman Bharat Yojana launched in 2018 across the country in January accusing the Narendra Modi government at the Centre of making ‘lofty claims’ under the scheme that provides an annual health cover of five lakh rupees for secondary and tertiary level health care.
“I strongly feel every rupee can come for the benefit of the people of Bengal. It does not matter from where it comes. If help comes from the Centre, we must accept it,” he said adding “health should be kept above politics.”
He also stressed saying that people in power should work in harmony for the benefit of the people.
On Wedneday, the Governor said that the state universities are not allowed to act the way they are supposed to while there is always a contest among the institutes as to who is the greater boss~ the state government or the chancellor.