PM Modi Launches AB-PMJAY, World's Largest State-Run Healthcare Programme

Desiree Burns
September 25, 2018

The National Skill Development Corporation is simultaneously utilising Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra and other Skill Development centres under the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Skill India Framework to train these people called Arogya Mitras to run Ayushman Bharat - Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojna (AB-PMJAY) smoothly. "I am confident that in the coming days, people working in the medical field will bring out new schemes based on this health cover".

PMJAY will provide a cover of up to Rs. 5 lakhs per family per year, for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation.

Asked when the Central scheme would be implemented in Telangana, the official said, "As of now Aarogyasri scheme will continue", adding that Telangana's model of health coverage is a robust programme.

The EHCP network will provide cashless and paperless access to services for the beneficiaries at both public and private hospitals.

The Prime Minster said, magnitude of the 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.

In an apparent reference to the Congress, he said without empowering the poor, previous governments had indulged in "vote bank politics". He said, no one needs to register for the initiative. "The beneficiaries are nearly equal to the population of Canada, Mexico and USA put together", said PM Modi. Having an Aadhaar card is not mandatory.

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After the inauguration of the scheme, Prime Minister Modi will be visiting an exhibition on the PMJAY. "The poor of my country must get all facilities that the rich enjoy", he said.

Mr Modi said, the government has taken a holistic approach to lay stress on affordable and preventive healthcare. He will also witness a demonstration of activities such as beneficiary identification and e-card creation.

During the annual budget announcement, finance minister Arun Jaitley had said that along with providing health insurance, the government also aims to create health and wellness centres across the country for which Rs 1,200 crores were allocated for the current fiscal, while the Centre had made a provisional allocation of Rs 2000 crores for PMJAY. The launch event was attended by Union health minister JP Nadda, Jharkhand chief minister Raghubar Das and the state governor Draupadi Murmu.

"The objectives are to reduce out of pocket hospitalisation expenses, fulfil unmet needs and improve access of identified families to quality inpatient care and day care surgeries", the statement stated.

National Health Agency (NHA), the apex body which is implementing the scheme, has launched a website and a helpline number for prospective beneficiaries to check if their names are there in the final list.

"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". He suggested that PM Modi should focus his energies on curbing the rising prices of fuel in the country instead of picking on a state that already has a good healthcare programme.

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