Bhubaneswar : Biju Janata Dal (BJD) president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday announced several healthcare initiatives to ensure universal health coverage in the state.

“One of our major commitments is universal health coverage. Today I am happy to announce that each and everyone visiting any government health institution from district to sub-centre level will be provided all health services free of cost,” Patnaik said.

“Biju Swasthya Kalyana Yojana will be implemented in the state from August 15. Under the scheme, secondary and tertiary cashless health care assistance will be provided up to Rs 5 lakh per family per annum. About 3.5 crore people of the state covering more than 70 lakh families will be benefited by the landmark initiative,” the CM said.

Moreover, drop back assistance of Rs 500 will be provided to all pregnant women and infant who visit public health facilities.

All the three initiatives will be implemented by the state government from August 15, 2018, release issued by the state government said.

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