Ayushman Bharat to be launched on Sept 25

Prime Minister Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said the Ayushman Bharat-National Health Protection Mission would be rolled out for the entire country on September 25 – the birth anniversary of BJP ideologue Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay

The scheme would provide a family medical insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh to 10.74 crore families from the poor and deprived section of the society.

“Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Abhiyaan (the fresh name for the scheme) will be launched on September 25 this year. It is high time we ensure that the poor of India get access to good quality and affordable health care,” Modi said in his Independence Day address.

In the next six weeks, the ambitious programme will be pilot tested in 106 districts of 14 states including poll-bound Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Mizoram. “Nearly 200 hospitals, mostly from the public sector, will be involved in the pilot project,” Indu Bhusan, Chief Executive Officer of Ayushman Bharat told DH.

Some of the other states and UTs involved in the pilot phase are Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha, Chandigarh, Manipur and Nagaland. The beneficiaries have been identified on the basis of the 2011 Socio-Economic Caste Census, whose results were updated through a nation-wide exercise.

In the pilot phase, the newly created IT backbone and software would be put to test. Also, the manpower requirement would be examined.

“The healthcare initiatives of Indian government will have a positive impact on 50 crore Indians. It is essential to ensure that we free the poor of India from the clutches of poverty due to which they cannot afford healthcare,” Modi said.

The number of beneficiaries under this scheme is more than the population of entire Europe, the prime minister said.

Once the scheme is well-settled, it would be extended to other sections of the society including the middle class and upper middle class, he said.

Dubbed as Modi-Care by the BJP, the scheme will subsume the on-going centrally sponsored programmes like Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana and the Senior Citizen Health Insurance Scheme. Currently, 28 states are on-board to run the programme. More than 1,300 healthcare procedures would be covered under this scheme.

Maharashtra, which has not joined the scheme so far, has indicated its willingness to do so a letter to the health ministry on Tuesday.

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Ayushman Bharat to be launched on Sept 25

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