New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch Ayushman Bharat –Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) in Ranchi, Jharkahnd today. Billed as the “world’s largest government funded healthcare program and also popularly known as Modicare, AB-PMJAY will target more than 50 crore beneficiaries.

Beneficiaries have been sent a two-page customised letter from the prime minister outlining the importance and benefits of the project.

The scheme will provide a cover of up to 5 lakhs per family per year, for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization. Over 10.74 crore vulnerable entitled families (approximately 50 crore beneficiaries) will be eligible for these benefits.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, as per the latest Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) data. Eleven occupational categories of workers include 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.

PMJAY will provide cashless and paperless access to services for the beneficiary at the point of service. PMJAY will help mitigate the financial risk arising out of catastrophic health episodes. When fully implemented, PMJAY will become the world’s largest fully government-financed health protection scheme.

The objectives of the Scheme are to reduce out of pocket hospitalisation expenses, fulfil unmet needs and improve access of identified families to quality inpatient care and day care surgeries. The scheme will provide a coverage up to 5,00,000 per family per year, for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization through a network of Empanelled Health Care Providers (EHCP). The EHCP network will provide cashless and paperless access to services for the beneficiaries at the both public and private hospitals. The services will include 1350 procedures covering pre and post hospitalization, diagnostics, medicines etc. The Yojana beneficiaries will be able to move across borders and access services across the country through the provider network seamlessly. So far 15,686 applications for hospital empanelment have been received. The scheme is creating a cadre of certified frontline health service professionals called Pradhan Mantri Aarogya Mitras (PMAMs) who will be primary point of facilitation for the beneficiaries to avail treatment at the hospital and thus, act as a support system to streamline health service delivery. MoU was signed between National Health Agency and Ministry of Skills Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) on 27th August 2018 in New Delhi. Aarogya Mitras training is being conducted in collaboration with National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and Ministry of Skill Development to strengthen implementation and operational preparedness. Training has already been conducted in across 20 states and around 3519 Aarogya Mitras have been trained so far. Training programs for State, District and PMAMs have been conducted in 27 states. A total of around 3936 personnel have been trained at state, district and PMAM levels.

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

Modi had announced the launch of the scheme from 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 which include Telangana, Odisha, Delhi, Kerala and Punjab have not signed, 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.

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