New Delhi, Sep 23: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday launched the world's largest government-funded healthcare programme - the Ayushman Bharat, which would benefit 50 crore Indians.
IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad is also attending the launch of Ayushman Bharat at the Gyan Bhawan in Patna along with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and the Governor of Bihar.
Narendra Modi said that the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Abhiyan (PMJAy) is being given different names by people, like 'Modicare', but for him, it is an opportunity to serve the poor. No country has a scheme like Ayushman Bharat, he added.
While launching the Ayushman Bharat scheme, Narendra Modi said that it will benefit over 50 crore people. "I am confident that in the days to come, people working in the medical field will come up with new schemes based on the health cover that has been provided today," he added.
Modi said that the Ayushman Bharat scheme is the largest scheme of its kind in the world. "If you add the population of these three countries -- United States, Canada and Mexico - the total number will be close to the number of beneficiaries of this scheme," he added.
Modi had announced the launch of the scheme from the ramparts of the Red Fort during his Independence day speech. PM Modi rolled out the scheme from Jharkhand capital Ranchi.
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The programme aims to make healthcare accessible and affordable, by providing a coverage of Rs. 5 lakh to 10 crore economically backward families. Nearly 31 states and Union Territories will implement the programme after Sunday's launch.
The scheme will become operational from September 25 on the birth anniversary of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay, Niti Aayog member V K Paul said.