Prime Minister Narendra Modi made an important announcement related to Ayushman Bharat scheme today while delivering the Independence Day speech from Red Fort. The first announcement on National Health Protection Scheme, a flagship program under Ayushman Bharat was made by Union Minister Arun Jaitley on 1st February 2018 during the presentation of General Budget 2018-19.
Touted as the world’s largest government-funded public health insurance scheme, Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM) will be launched formally on 25th September 2018, the birth anniversary of Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay. Around 10.74 crore families (approx. 50 crore people) will be provided an insurance cover of up to Rs 5 lakh under the scheme. The number of beneficiaries is equivalent to European Union or combined US, Canada and Mexico population put together. If it were a nation, it would have been third largest in the world.
Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Abhiyan under #AyushmanBharat will benefit more than 10 cr families with health assurance of 5 lakh per family per year. The mission will be launched on 25th September 2018. @PMOIndia #IndependenceDayIndia pic.twitter.com/JQeyuKYWC6
— National Health Agency (NHA) (@AyushmanNHA) 15 August 2018
AB-NHPM will transform the Indian healthcare ecosystem by providing insurance cover to such a large population through cashless, paperless process and partnership with States/ UTs, empanelled hospitals, trusts and insurance providers. As of now, 28 States/ UTs have signed the MoU with National Health Agency. Dr Dinesh Arora, Deputy CEO Ayushman Bharat (NHPM) said through a micro-blogging platform that testing of IT Platform begins today in staggered manner throughout India.
The Ayushman Bharat scheme would initially focus to provide better healthcare facilities to deprived families in rural India. The objective is to cover 10 crore families by 2020 and the Centre has already allocated a budget of Rs 10,000 crore for it. The health ministry has reportedly included 1,354 packages in the scheme and would cover treatment for coronary bypass, knee replcements and stenting, along with many others.
In his last Independence Day address ahead of the next Lok Sabha elections in 2019, PM Narendra Modi said, “It is high time we ensure that the poor of India get access to good quality and affordable healthcare. It is essential to ensure that we free the poor of India from the clutches of poverty due to which they cannot afford healthcare.”
PM Modi began his speech at 7:34 am which mainly focused on the progress India has made under the NDA government. He also drew comparison between the current situation and that in 2013. The government will build new hospitals in Tier 2 & 3 cities and staff will be recruited to make the Ayushman Bharat mission a success. India has completed 71 years as an Independence Nation and is celebrating 72nd Independence Day today.