Prime Minister Narendra Modi is most likely to launch ambitious Ayushman Bharat programme from the ramparts of the Red Fort on August 15, and so far 28 states have come on board for implementing the world’s largest healthcare cover plan of Rs 5 lakh to 10 crore families. However, eight states and insurance companies are yet to join the scheme, which has lately become popular as Modicare.
Giving an update on the preparation of the scheme, Ayushman Bharat CEO Indu Bhushan told CNBC-TV18 that all but six states have chosen the trust-based mode for providing health care coverage to beneficiaries. A trust-based model is where instead of an insurance company, a trust or the government itself pays for the claims made. 28 states have joined, while 8 states including Kerala, Odisha are yet to give nod to the implementation of the programme.
Ayushman Bharat — National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS) — was announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the Budget 2018. As just a few days are left for its launch, Indu Bhushan told the news channel that a three-level Information Technology (IT) backbone for the programme is ready. “We are testing it. We will be ready in a couple of days,” Ayushman Bharat CEO said.
He said that for hospital empanelment, 7,400 applications have been received by the government. Moreover, about 25,000 wellness centres have been approved, of which, 5,000 are operational now. Earlier this month, Narendra Modi reviewed the progress of Ayushman Bharat and reportedly asked officials to ensure minimal fraud.
Meanwhile, Haryana government has announced that it will launch the programme in the state on August 15 only, while Madhya Pradesh may roll it out on September 25. Since some states are yet to come on board, some media reports suggested Modicare may give Independence Day launch a miss and the Prime Minister may only share the timeline of the launch.