Ayushman Bharat scheme to be launched on Sept 25

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

“Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Abhiyaan 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 4-6 weeks, the scheme under which the government promises to offer a family medical insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh to 10.74 crore deprived families will be tested in a pilot mode in a handful of states, including poll-bound Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

“The healthcare initiatives of the Government of India 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,” he 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 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 1300 healthcare procedures would be covered under this scheme.

The beneficiaries have been identified on the basis of the 2011 Socio-Economic Caste Census, whose results were updated through a nation-wide exercise.

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

“Due to Swachh Bharat mission (under which toilets were built and used), lakhs of children can lead healthier lives. Even the World Health Organisation lauded the movement,” Modi said.

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Ayushman Bharat scheme to be launched on Sept 25

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