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All You Need to Know about Ayushman Bharat

27 Oct 2018

Year 2015 invited the attention of global community towards Health for All, as WHO & its member states agreed to adopt Sustainable Development Goals & Millennium Development Goals. In this context, it is pertinent to mention that India has always been active in taking steps to attain the Goals set by United Nations and its associated bodies. Since, 2014, India’s health policy has witnessed a radical change. The present Government has brought various health schemes and measures to ensure health for all like Rashtriya Swachhata Mission to end open defecation; New Health Policy, E-health initiative as part of Digital India Campaign along with special attention on health equipment production. In the recent budget, the government announced the world’s largest universal health coverage scheme namely Ayushman Bharat Scheme.

Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) termed as Ayushman Bharat is a scheme launched by the Central Government on September 23, 2018 in 445 districts. This is the world’s biggest government sponsored scheme as it aims to cover 10 crore families. The scheme is a boon to the poor with health coverage of rupees 5 lakh per family annually for secondary and tertiary care. All members of eligible families present in SECC (Socio economic caste census) database are covered. It is a path breaking initiative as not only public but empanelled private hospitals have been roped in to provide services. With more than 13000 hospitals already empanelled under the scheme, it aims to change the healthcare landscape of India.

To avail the service, beneficiaries can approach the empanelled hospital and “Arogya Mitras” will assist in admission. First step would be beneficiary’s registration and eligibility confirmation using Aadhaar preferably. On confirmation of eligibility, hospital will select the package and submit support evidence for treatment. Beneficiary will then be provided with the required treatment. After discharge the beneficiary will receive the discharge summary, electronic payment would be enabled and beneficiary’s feedback will be kept for record. No money needs to be paid by the family for treatment in case of hospitalization. To ensure smooth access of facilities more than 70,000 people have been given Gold Cards which patient can show at any empanelled hospital to avail benefits under the scheme. Families and Individuals whose verification have been completed with biometrics are given the Gold Cards.

PMJAY covers 1300 ailments under it including heart disease. Besides secondary and tertiary care, Government plans to set up 1.5 lakh primary healthcare and wellness centers. These centers will be upgraded timely and will have a doctor, a midwife and a pharmacist. These centers will also be linked to hospitals.

The implementation of such an enormous healthcare program would alter contours of the healthcare industry and have significant impact on all stakeholders, including healthcare providers; health insurers; medical equipment companies, professionals and training institutions; and pharmaceutical industry. Under this program, people are expected to be engaged in fields ranging from “implementation support” at central and state levels to claim management support at the trust and insurance agencies in states implementing the scheme.

Approximately 25 percent rural and 18 percent urban populations sink into poverty and debt trap due to medical emergency. The poor are often denied access to healthcare facilities due to lack of money. But now no more of this exclusion as it is time to celebrate Ayushman Bharat.

The remarkable scheme has crossed 1 lakh beneficiary mark within a month of its launch

Watch the impact of Ayushman Bharat through the stories

The takeaways of the scheme are coverage, pricing and services. This initiative that holds potential to reform the healthcare significantly is being applauded not only in the country but globally as well. Impressed with India’s initiative on Ayushman Bharat, Tedros Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization took to twitter to appreciate Prime Minister’s commitment to transform the healthcare sector.

Professor Richard Horton, Editor-in-Chief of The Lancet recognized and expressed that Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the first PM to prioritize healthcare for Indians.

Ayushman Bharat focuses on the most important asset of the nation that is its human resource. Healthy human resource not only reverses the health statistics but also help accelerate the development graph of the nation. Ayushman Bharat will catalyse PM Narendra Modi’s vision of “Health for All” and will be a key cornerstone in building New India by 2022.

This blog has been contributed by a volunteer.

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