Study reveals high utilization of AB PM-JAY services among women

  • Under the Centre's flagship health scheme, women beneficiaries have availed maximum treatment in medical specializations such as Oncology (58%) and Ophthalmology (51%) than male patients under the scheme

Livemint
Updated8 Mar 2022, 08:37 PM IST
The major objective of the study was to assess the gender distribution in the SECC database and Ayushman card generation, and to examine the gender wise trend in utilization of PM-JAY. (ANI PHOTO)
The major objective of the study was to assess the gender distribution in the SECC database and Ayushman card generation, and to examine the gender wise trend in utilization of PM-JAY. (ANI PHOTO)

Women account for 46.7% of the total authorized hospitalization under Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB PM-JAY), according to a study by the National Health Authority (NHA).

Under the Centre's flagship health scheme, women beneficiaries have availed maximum treatment in medical specializations such as Oncology (58%) and Ophthalmology (51%) than male patients under the scheme. Also; Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Sikkim observed higher female utilization under AB PM-JAY than male patients.

AB PM-JAY is world’s largest health assurance scheme. According to the NHA which is responsible for implementing AB PM-JAY across the country, women comprise up to 49.6% of the total enrolled AB PM-JAY beneficiaries. The study commenced in October 2019 concluded last September.

 “More than 10 states namely Manipur, Nagaland, Mizoram, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Puducherry, Lakshadweep, Kerala and Meghalaya have a higher number of Ayushman Cards issued for women as compared to their male counterparts. AB PM-JAY has also greatly contributed in shifting the gender paradigm, with over 42 percent of beneficiaries availing treatment under AB PM-JAY being women,” said NHA in a statement.

It has been observed that Obstetrics and Gynaecology utilization under the scheme is the second most utilized specialty after general medicine in over 15 states.

 “The Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY scheme is setting a great example for promoting gender equity and equal opportunities in access to health benefits and medical assistance for all. The high representation of female beneficiaries in the scheme is a testament to our commitment for this endeavor. I hope we can continue this tradition and keep this inclusiveness alive,” said Dr. R.S Sharma, CEO, National Health Authority while releasing the study.

Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana health insurance scheme aspires to continue working on improving health conditions for all and thus contributing in increasing female health autonomy, added Sharma.

The major objective of the study was to assess the gender distribution in the SECC database and Ayushman card generation, and to examine the gender wise trend in utilization of PM-JAY. It aimed to analyze the North-South divide in gender-wise utilization of the scheme, and study the impact of COVID on the gender wise utilization of PM-JAY. Also, the idea was to track the national level utilization of the packages and identify the top specialties showing higher utilization by women patients. 

Keeping female beneficiaries in mind, there are 141 Health Benefits Packages (HBP) under the scheme that are designed exclusively for them. AB PM-JAY currently provides, as many as 59 packages and 77 procedures under the specialty of obstetrics and gynecology, enabling increased access to better healthcare services, thereby helping in the reduction of maternal and child mortality.

 “The gender gap increased significantly during the COVID waves, with the drastic fall in the utilization of the specialty of Obstetrics & Gynecology. Measures need to be undertaken to ensure efficient delivery of essential services even during adverse future events. Female utilization was found to be higher for the tracer packages in the majority of the states, with oncology followed by ophthalmology being the highest utilized specialty. Further, women recorded higher utilization of oncology services across all the states, which can be attributed to the higher burden of disease for females,” the study said.

The tracer packages refer to the package groups selected on the basis of certain criteria, to assess the performance of AB PM-JAY across the states.

 “The gap in female utilization with and without Obstetrics & Gynaecology was found to quite high in the states of Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Meghalaya, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh (>10%), which implies high utilization of delivery packages in the states compared to other packages,” it said. 

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First Published:8 Mar 2022, 08:37 PM IST
HomeNewsIndiaStudy reveals high utilization of AB PM-JAY services among women

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