New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday launched world’s most extensive state-funded healthcare programme – the Ayushman Bharat, which is expected to benefit 50 crore Indians. He rolled out the scheme from Jharkhand capital Ranchi.
Earlier, PM Modi had announced the launch of the scheme during this year’s Independence Day speech from the Red Fort.
The programme aims to make healthcare accessible and affordable, by providing a coverage of Rs 5 lakh to 10 crore economically backward families. Nearly 31 states and Union Territories will implement the programme after Sunday’s launch.
The National Health Agency (NHA), the apex body implementing the AB-NHPM, has launched a website and a helpline number to help prospective beneficiaries check if their name is there in the final list. One can visit mera.pmjay.gov.in or call up the helpline (14555) to check their enrolment. A beneficiary needs to key in his or her mobile number, which is verified through an OTP and then complete the KYC (know your customer) online without any need for human interface with other documents.
Key details about Ayushman Bharat
- Beneficiaries of the Ayushman Bharat insurance programme in Jharkhand were sent a two-page personalised letter from PM Modi outlining the importance and benefits of the project. The government will send similar letters to 10.74 crore beneficiary families across the country gradually. The letters will have a photograph of PM Modi, a government official said.
- “The prime minister will launch the scheme on September 23 but effectively it will become operational from September 25 on the birth anniversary of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay,” said NITI Aayog member Dr Vinod Paul, who is the chief architect of the scheme.
- The funding for the programme would be divided between Centre and states – with 6o per cent of it coming from the Central government.
- “Today is a historic day for India… We are committed to building a healthy and fit India!” PM Modi said in tweets this morning.
- The ambitious scheme, renamed the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Abhiyan, targets economically backward families from both rural and urban India.
- Eligible people can avail the benefits in government and listed private hospitals. The beneficiaries are identified based on four “deprivation categories”
- There is no cap on family size and age in the scheme, ensuring that nobody is left out.
- One would only need to establish one’s identity to avail benefits under the scheme and it could be through Aadhaar card or election ID card or ration card. Having an Aadhaar card is not mandatory. In case of hospitalisation, members of the beneficiary families do not need to pay anything under the scheme, provided one goes to a government or an empanelled private hospital. “
- States like Telangana, Odisha, Delhi, Kerala and Punjab have not signed the launch with the Centre.
- At a public meeting in Odisha on Saturday, PM Modi criticised the Naveen Patnaik government for saying no to the scheme and alleged that corruption and delaying decisions have become the identity of the Odisha government. Mr Patnaik, however, dismissed the allegation, saying PM Modi must have said it to enthuse BJP workers.