PM Modi rolls out PMJAY, Ayushman Bharat scheme
RANCHI/SRINAGAR: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday launched the ‘Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY)’ here, hailing it as the “worlds biggest state-run healthcare scheme”.
Chief Secretary, BVR Subrahmanyam, attended the live televised launch of ambitious project at SKICC Srinagar. Principal Secretary Health & Medical Education, Atal Dulloo, Mission Director, National Health Mission, J&K, Bhupinder Kumar, Director General ISM, Dr Abdul Kabir and other senior government functionaries, doctors and medical students were also present at SKICC during the televised launch of PMJAY.
Launching the scheme, Modi said the intended beneficiaries outnumber the total population of the European Union or that of the USA, Canada and Mexico put together. Modi said that the scheme, which targets more than 50 crore people, will be a subject for research for medical and social scientists and a model for the world to follow. He had announced ABPMJAY in his Independence Day speech. The government-sponsored health insurance scheme will provide free coverage of up to rupees 5 lakh a family a year in any government or even empanelled private hospitals all over India. 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. To ensure that nobody from the vulnerable group is left out of the benefit cover, there will be no cap on family size and age in ‘Ayushman Bharat’ scheme. The insurance scheme will cover pre and post-hospitalization expenses. The expenditure incurred in premium payment will be shared between central and state governments in a specified ratio: 60:40 for all states and UTs with their own legislature, 90:10 in Northeast states and the three Himalayan states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal and Uttarakhand and 100 per cent central funding for UTs without legislature. The states are also free to continue with their own health programmes. While launching the scheme, in an apparent reference to the Congress, he said the previous governments had indulged in “vote-bank politics” without empowering the poor. “We have been listening to the garibi hatao (get rid of poverty) slogan, but it was just an attempt to hoodwink the poor. If the (welfare) schemes were implemented, as promised, the poor in the country would have been better off today,” the prime minister said. The erstwhile government did not realise that the poor have self-respect and dignity, Modi claimed.
“I have seen and lived the life of a poor, so I know the importance of self-respect and dignity in their lives. I am trying my best to fulfill their dreams and protect their dignity. It is the BJP government that is focused on empowering them (poor people),” he said. The magnitude of the Ayushman Bharat scheme could be gauged from the fact that more than 1,300 ailments are covered under it, including heart diseases, kidney and liver disorders and diabetes, the prime minister said. “People are calling the scheme Modicare and by other names, but for me it is an opportunity to serve the poor. Even the ones living in the lowest strata of the society will benefit from the scheme,” he said.
Iterating the slogan “Sabka saath, sabka vikas” (together for all, development for all), Modi said the health cover does not discriminate on communal or caste lines. “The programme will not differentiate between people, based on religion, caste, location. Every eligible person will be able to avail of the benefits,” he asserted.
Congratulating the team that was instrumental in the programme’s implementation, he said the officials would receive the blessings of 50 crore beneficiaries. “I hope and pray that the poor don’t have to visit hospitals, but, if they do, the Ayushman cover will be at their service. The poor of my country must get all facilities that the rich enjoy,” he said. The health scheme will set an example for countries across the world, Modi said. “One does not need to register for the initiative.
A health card would be provided to the beneficiaries for availing of the benefits. A toll-free number will also be made available to the people for finding out more about the scheme,” he explained. Modi also said 2,500 modern hospitals would come up in tier-II and tier-III cities and would generate employment opportunities.
“A total of 13,000 hospitals have become a part of the Ayushman Bharat scheme. Our government has taken a holistic approach to lay stress on affordable and preventive healthcare,” he said. Quoting party ideologue Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, the prime minister said “good health was an investment just as good education” for the future of the country. He also said the central government has given approval for 15 new AIIMS in the country. “The government is working on a scheme to train one lakh new doctors in the next four to five years and build at least one AIIMS in each state,” he claimed.