New Delhi: Modi government’s ambitious health insurance scheme, Ayushman Bharat, Pradhan Mantri Jan AarogyaYojana (AB-PMJAY) on Monday completed 100 days after its launch on 23 September 2018.

In this period of time, under AB-PMJAY, the ministry of health and family welfare issued at least 41,45,727 e-cards to the beneficiaries. As on 1 January 2019, over 6,95,310 patients were admitted in various empaneled private and public hospitals across India.

“We are pleased with the initial momentum of PMJAY. We are now focusing on deepening the scheme in “greenfield" states, ensuring that no fraud or abuse takes place, assuring the quality of services and keeping our Information Technology (IT) system safe and robust," said Indu Bhushan, CEO, AB-PMJAY.

“Greenfield States are those, where there was no health insurance scheme earlier such as Uttar Pradesh (UP), Bihar, Haryana, (Madhya Pradesh (MP), Himachal Pradesh (HP), Jammu & Kashmir and Jharkhand," he said.

The government has already approved a claim amount of 537 crore in last 100 days. Currently, 15,972 hospitals have been empaneled under the scheme and at least 59,219 hospitals have applied for empanelment under the scheme.

Dubbed as “Modicare", AB-PMJAY provides an annual health cover of 5 lakh per family to about 500 million economically deprived people based on the Socio Economic Caste Census (SECC) data. It is being touted by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) as the world’s largest healthcare programme.

“The Ayushman Bharat Scheme, which was launched on 23 September 2018 has completed 100 days. These 100 days have witnessed the most significant steps in improving healthcare for the poor ever since independence," Arun Jaitley, finance minister, tweeted on Tuesday.

Jaitley in his blog on—100 days of Aayushman Bharat—said, “In the first 100 days, 6.85 lakh patients have been provided hospital treatment. 5.1 lakh claims have availed of the scheme, for which payment has been released. This averages 5000 claims per day for the first 100 days. No patient have had to pay a single Rupee."

“Thus, once awareness of the scheme increases, It is anticipated that in the next few years, almost 1 crore plus families will benefit each year," he said.

The scheme is a game changer in healthcare, Jaitley said in his blog adding that more than 50% of the implementing hospitals are in the private sector.

After the paperless and cashless entitlement-based scheme’s completion of 100 days, the onus is now on the Indian healthcare system, both public and private, to deliver. This is at a time the government is struggling with inadequate health infrastructure in the country, especially in rural areas, where most of the scheme’s beneficiaries are concentrated.

As many as 31 states and Union Territories (UTs) have signed the MoUs with the Centre to implement the programme. The remaining states and UTs, including Telangana, Odisha, Delhi, Kerala and Punjab, have opted out of the scheme. Delhi however has not adopted the scheme, but nine private hospitals have signed an Memorandum of understanding to provide their services under the AB-PMJAY in December 2018.

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