Ayushman Bharat report card: As many as 41 lakh people have so far benefitted from the Centre’s Ayushman Bharat scheme, according to Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan. Not only this, the beneficiaries have also been able to save a massive Rs 12,000 crore on health expenditure since the launch of this flagship scheme. Addressing the 72nd Session of the WHO Regional Committee for South-East Asia on Monday, Harsh Vardhan said, “A total of 17,000 hospitals have been empanelled so far under this scheme. More than 4.1 million (41 lakh) persons have become beneficiaries under this scheme and have thus saved a total of an approximate120 billion Indian Rupees (Rs 12000 crore) on health expenditure.”
Ayushman Bharat (Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana/PM-JAY) was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year to provide health coverage to 10 crore families. The health minister said, “Ayushman Bharat is India’s road to Universal Health Care.”
The first component of the Ayushman Bharat scheme is to set up 1,50,000 health and wellness centres across the country by 2022. The minister said that the Union government has so far already operationalised 20,000 health and wellness centres.
The second component of PM-JAY aims at providing health protection and cover to 100 million (10 crore) poor and vulnerable families for tertiary and secondary care including pre- and post-hospitalisation expenses. The scheme provides health cover up to Rs 5 lakh to each family.
On revolutionary path
Harsh Vardhan said India is on the brink of a healthcare sector revolution under Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He said, “The Prime Minister has spelt out his commitment, in no uncertain terms, that the health of our citizens is his government’s topmost priority. The charismatic Prime Minister has fast-tracked many policy initiatives aimed at achieving all the core tenets of Universal Health Coverage to deliver affordable and inclusive healthcare for all.”