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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday launched the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) SEHAT scheme via video-conferencing to extend health insurance coverage to all residents of Jammu and Kashmir.

PM Modi also interacted with the beneficiaries of Centre's Ayushman Bharat Yojana.

Interacting with Ramesh Lal, a cancer patient from Jammu, PM Modi said "Ayushman Bharat has made your life 'ayushman'. I urge you to tell everyone you meet about this scheme and its benefits."

"Today is a historic day for Jammu and Kashmir. From today all the people of Jammu and Kashmir are going to get the benefits of Ayushman Yojana. Health Scheme- This in itself is a big step. And I am very happy to see Jammu and Kashmir taking these steps for the development of its people," said PM Modi during his address.

At present, about 6 lakh families of the state were getting the benefit of the Ayushman Bharat Scheme. After the health plan, all 21 lakh families will get the same benefit, the PM said.

"There will be another benefit of this scheme which needs to be mentioned again and again. Your treatment will not be limited to government and private hospitals in Jammu and Kashmir only. Rather, thousands of hospitals are connected under this scheme in the country, you will also get this facility," he added.

Scheme will ensure universal health coverage

The Prime Minister's Office said the scheme will ensure universal health coverage, and focus on providing financial risk protection and ensuring quality and affordable essential health services to all individuals and communities.

"The scheme will ensure Universal Health Coverage and focus on providing financial risk protection and ensuring quality and affordable essential health services to all individuals and communities," the PMO said in a statement.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah and the Union Territory's Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha, also spoke on the occasion.

The scheme will provide free-of-cost insurance cover to all residents of the UT of Jammu and Kashmir, the PMO said, adding that it will extend financial cover of up to 5 lakh per family on a floater basis to all residents of the UT.

There is provision for operational extension of the 'Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana' (PM-JAY) to approximately 15 lakh additional families, the PMO statement said, adding that the scheme will operate on insurance mode in convergence with PM-JAY.

The benefits of the scheme will be portable across the country. The hospitals empanelled under the PM-JAY scheme shall provide services under this scheme as well, the PMO said.

The Department of Information and Public Relations had announced the move on Wednesday. "Historic moment for J&K. Hon'ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is going to launch #SEHAT - "Social Endeavour for Health and Telemedicine " Health Insurance scheme for the entire J&K on December 26, 2020," the department wrote on Twitter.

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