India Union Budget 2019: Ayushman Bharat scheme that aims to provide medical coverage of upto Rs 5 lakh per family in a year to 11 crore (100 million) eligible families or nearly 50 crore (500 million) people is dubbed as the world's largest healthcare programme funded by public money.
Union Budget 2019: The allocation for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious healthcare scheme Ayushman Bharat in the interim budget will be most keenly watched things not only in India but also around the world. Ayushman Bharat scheme that aims to provide medical coverage of upto Rs 5 lakh per family in a year to 11 crore (100 million) eligible families or nearly 50 crore (500 million) people is dubbed as the world’s largest healthcare programme funded by public money. It was most widely covered government proposal when the then finance minister Arun Jaitley announced it in the last year’s budget.
The scheme once again gained wide attention when Microsoft founder Bill Gates praised the scheme in a tweet on January 17 after it achieved an important milestone by providing medical treatment to nearly 7 lakh people within 100 days of its launch.
This year, the scheme is expected to see a significant allocation as the number of beneficiaries seeking treatment under the scheme is expected to grow significantly. In last year’s budget, NDA government has allocated just Rs 1,200 crore for the scheme as it was still a work in progress. Prime Minister Modi had formally launched the scheme after seven months in September last year.
Ayushman Bharat, which is formally known as Pradhanmantri Jan Arogya Yojana aims to cover nearly 40% of India’s population. According to latest available information, more than 9.13 lakh people have received treatment but this number is set to increase significantly as more than 80 lakh beneficiary cards have already been issued.
The scheme is funded by central and state governments under 60:40 model with the Centre footing the 60% cost of the treatment and 40% will be borne by the respective state government. In case of Northeastern and Himalayan states the ratio is 90:10.
Last year, Modi government has allocated over Rs 54,000 crore to the health ministry, but only 1,200 crore out of the total were provided for Ayushman Bharat. However, the government had spent just Rs 798.34 crore on the scheme till November end, according to the information given by minister of state for health and family welfare Anupriya Patel in the recently concluded winter session of Parliament.