Home >politics >policy >PM Modi to launch Ayushman Bharat scheme from Jharkhand tomorrow. See details

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will roll out the Centre’s flagship Ayushman Bharat-National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM) from Jharkhand on Sunday.

The ambitious scheme, renamed Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Abhiyan (PMJAY), aims to provide a coverage of 5 lakh per family annually, benefiting more than 10 crore poor families. Eligible people can avail the benefits in government and listed private hospitals. The scheme will target poor, deprived rural families and identified occupational category of urban workers’ families, 8.03 crore in rural and 2.33 crore in urban areas, according to the latest Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) data. It will cover around 50 crore people.

The entitlement is being decided on the basis of deprivation criteria in the SECC database. Beneficiaries are identified based on deprivation categories (D1, D2, D3, D4, D5, and D7) identified under the SECC database for rural areas. For the urban areas, 11 occupational criteria will determine entitlement — rag pickers, beggars, domestic workers, street vendors, cobblers/ hawkers/ other service providers working on streets, construction workers/ plumbers/ masons/ labours/ painters/ welders/ security guards/ coolies and other head-load workers and sanitation workers. In addition, the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna (RSBY) beneficiaries in states where it is active have also been included.

There is no cap on family size and age in the scheme, ensuring that nobody is left out. One would only need to establish one’s identity to avail benefits under the scheme and it could be through Aadhaar card or election ID or ration card. Having an Aadhaar card is not mandatory to avail the scheme’s benefit. In case of hospitalisation, members of beneficiary families do not need to pay anything under the scheme, provided one goes to a government or an empanelled private hospital.

The National Health Agency (NHA), the apex body implementing the AB-NHPM, has launched a website and a helpline number to help prospective beneficiaries check if their name is there in the final list. One can visit the website mera.pmjay.gov.in or call up helpline (14555) to check their enrolment. A beneficiary needs to key in his or her mobile number, which is verified through an OTP and then complete the KYC (know your customer) formalities online. They can also call the helpline number to check their enrolment.

Each empanelled hospital will have an ‘Ayushman Mitra’ to assist patients and will coordinate with beneficiaries and hospitals. They will run help desks and check documents to verify the eligibility for the scheme. Also, beneficiaries will be given letters with QR codes, which will be scanned. A demographic authentication will be conducted for identification and verification of his or her eligibility to avail the benefits of the scheme.

The health ministry has included 1,354 packages in the scheme under which treatment for coronary bypass, knee replacements and stenting, among others, will be provided at 15-20% cheaper rates than the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS).

Prime Minister Modi had announced the launch of the scheme from the ramparts of the Red Fort during his Independence day speech. As many as 31 states and Union Territories have signed MoUs with the Centre and will implement the programme over the next two to three months, after its launch on Sunday. Remaining states and UTs, including Telangana, Odisha, Delhi, Kerala and Punjab have not signed MoUs, so the scheme will not be implemented in those states till they come on board.

Over 8,735 hospitals, both public and private, have been empanelled for the scheme.

“The Prime Minister will launch the scheme on 23 September but it will effectively become operational from 25 September on the birth anniversary of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay," according to Niti Aayog member V.K. Paul, the chief architect of the scheme. The burden on the Centre was likely to be around 3,500 crore for the current fiscal, he added.

Billed as the world’s largest government healthcare programme, it will be funded with 60% contribution coming from the Centre and the remaining from states.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed

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