Independence Day speech: PM Modi may launch world’s largest government-funded healthcare programme

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is addressing the nation from the Red Fort on the 72nd Independence Day, his fifth and last Independence Day speech before the 2019 General Elections.

PM Modi is likely to launch the world’s largest government-funded healthcare programme — Ayushman Bharat-National Health Protection Scheme (AB-NHPS). It will be launched on a pilot basis in some states, with the full-scale roll-out of PM Modi’s pet project expected in September end. Ayushman Bharat, also known as “Modicare”, aims to provide an annual coverage of Rs 5 lakh per family annually, benefiting more than 10 crore poor families.

The Ayushman Bharat scheme will target poor and deprived rural families and identified occupational category of urban workers’ families, 8.03 crore in rural and 2.33 crore in urban areas, and will cover around 50 crore people.

The 10 big states are yet to sign up for the ambitious scheme include Odisha, Punjab, Delhi, Karnataka, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Goa.

Out of them seven states haven’t signed the scheme yet as their existing state health insurance schemes cover a larger population than the proposed number under Ayushman Bharat. And six out of these seven are still in negotiation with the government to integrated their existing scheme with Ayushman Bharat but Odisha has flatly refused to adopt Ayushman Bharat.

Even though the centre has allocated about Rs 10,000 crore for the project, it has not released its share of the funds to the states yet.

Like every years, for his Independence Day speech, PM Modi had asked for ideas from people. According to MyGov.in, the Prime Minister will pick up some of the ideas in his speech. Suggestions already received on the website include the discussion of rape, reservation system, open defecation, and education.