New Delhi, Sept 24: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday, September 23, launched a mega healthcare scheme called Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) and it is being called as the world's largest government-funded healthcare programme covering 50 crore people.
PM Modi was elated to have launched it and called it a "game changer". He said the scheme which covers people counting more than the combined population of the US, Canada and Mexico will be something that organisations across the world will study to know the government funded such a mammoth project. He said the project is definitely aimed at benefiting the poor. The PM announced about the scheme during his Independence Speech this year and it was simultaneously launched in 445 districts across the country.
Modi also urged people to remember the helpline number of the scheme which is 14555.
What is AB-PMJAY?
- The 71st round of National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) found that almost 86 per cent of rural households and 82 per cent of urban households do not have access to health care insurance or assurance, healthy ministry sources said.
- As per VK Paul from Niti Aayog who is called the chief architect of the project, the Centre is likely to carry a burden of Rs 3,500 crore in the current fiscal because of the scheme. The Centre will fund 60 per cent of the scheme while the remaining will come from the states.
- The scheme is likely to cover 50 crore Indians who will be given a health care insurance of up to Rs 5 lakh a year.
- The health ministry has brought under the scheme 1,354 packages under which treatment for coronary bypass, knee replacements and others will be provided at 15-20 per cent rate cheaper than the central health schemes.
- The scheme will see provision of cashless and paperless service to the beneficiary. The benefits can be availed in listed private hospitals besides government ones.
- The beneficiaries of the scheme are identified based on deprivation categories while for the urban areas, 11 occupational criteria will be taken into account.
- There is no limitation to family size and age.
- Aadhar card is not mandatory to avail the benefits. One can do so by producing any identity proof.
- Hospitals where one can avail the scheme will have an 'Ayushman Mitra help desk'.
- Thirty states and Union Territories have signed memoranda of understanding with the Centre over the implementation of the programme. Five states have refused to sign it - all of them non-BJP ruled and the scheme will not be effective there. These states are Odisha, Delhi, Punjab, Kerala and Telangana.