New Delhi: Four states not ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)—Delhi, Odisha, Punjab and West Bengal—are yet to give their nod to the implementation of the National Health Protection Mission (NHPM), according to a senior health ministry official.
The ministry is in the process of signing memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with a majority of states for the implementation of the NHPM.
Eight states and four Union territories have already signed the MoUs for the health mission, dubbed Modicare, which is the world’s largest health insurance scheme and is expected to be rolled out soon. These include Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand and Chandigarh.
“The programme will change the healthcare landscape in the country. We are moving according to the timelines for implementing the Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Swasthya Suraksha Mission. We shall sign MoUs with 14 states on 14 June. West Bengal and Delhi have not yet given confirmation but consultations are on with all the states," said Union health minister J.P. Nadda
“When the MoUs are signed, the states will be committed to implementing the NHPM," he said.
Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Tamil Nadu will soon sign the agreement with the Union ministry, according to a senior health ministry official mentioned above on condition of anonymity.
The health ministry claims that the programme is on a fast-track and that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to roll it out on 15 August.
“The MoUs in the majority of the North Indian states have already been done. The information technology (IT) systems are ready and we have asked the IT institutions involved to undertake a trial run by the end of July. We have already indentified over 80% of the beneficiaries in rural areas. Work is in progress in urban areas," said Nadda.
NHPM aims to provide health insurance to more than 100 million poor and vulnerable families with the premium paid by the government. The finance ministry in February had initially announced an outlay of Rs2,000 crore. In March, the health ministry announced an allocation of Rs10,000 crore for Modicare for the next two years with Nadda saying more funds will be provided according to need.