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47 lakh availed treatment, 21,000 health and wellness centres opened under Ayushman Bharat: Harsh Vardhan

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

About 47 lakh people have availed treatment and more than 21,000 health and wellness centres have become operational under the Ayushman Bharat scheme, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Monday.

His remarks came on the occasion of Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) under Ayushman Bharat completing one year.

"The government is committed to Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and through our Ayushman Bharat Scheme we are well on our way to achieve it by reducing inequalities in access to inpatient care, reducing the incidence of catastrophic health expenditures, and improving access and quality of health services in the public and private sectors," he said at a press conference at the Foreign Correspondents' Club.

Harsh Vardhan said till now, 32 states and Union Territories are implementing Ayushman Bharat PMJAY.

The minister lashed out at Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for not implementing the scheme and playing politics over it.

Referring to the Delhi assembly polls due early next year, he said it was now just a matter of time and "we will implement the scheme" in the next few months

Under the Ayushman Bharat scheme, more than 21,000 health and wellness centres have become operational and in the first year, since its launch, about 47 lakh people have availed of treatment worth over Rs 7,500 crore under AB-PMJAY pillar which provides health assurance cover to the most needy people of the country, he said.

Describing it as the biggest public healthcare initiative in the world, Harsh Vardhan said that 10 crore e-cards have been given out to beneficiaries and over 18,000 hospitals have been empanelled with around 53 per cent of them being from the private sector.

Of the total Rs 7,500 crore amount utilised, 55 per cent has been on tertiary procedures that were not covered under the predecessor scheme that primarily focused on secondary care.

About 62 per cent of the treatments have been in these private hospitals.

A unique feature of the PMJAY is its portability, which has helped the eligible poor and migrant workers to seek treatment outside their states, Harsh Vardhan said.

"So far, there have been more than 40,000 portability cases," he informed.

Harsh Vardhan said that 1.5 lakh health and wellness centres will be operationalised by December 2022, while 40,000 by 2020.

PMJAY covers about 550 million poor and vulnerable Indians and provides a health assurance cover of Rs 500,000 per family per year for secondary and tertiary care for serious and catastrophic illnesses.

PMJAY provides cashless and paperless access to services for the beneficiary at the point of service.

Harsh Vardhan said Ayushman Bharat PMJAY will create the world's best health assurance programme on an efficient and technologically robust eco-system, and thus ensure financial protection against catastrophic health expenditure and access to affordable and quality healthcare for all.

Ayushman Bharat PMJAY is being governed on a zero-tolerance approach towards any kind of fraud, and the anti-fraud framework rests on three key pillars of prevention, detection and deterrence, he said.

A total of 97 errant hospitals have been de-empanelled and penalties worth more than Rs 15 million have been levied, Harsh Vardhan said, adding that those hospitals indulging in fraud could be named and shamed in future.

The minister also stated that to mark the first year anniversary of Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY, the National Health Authority is organising a two-day national workshop, Arogya Manthan, on September 30 and October 1, 2019.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, September 23 2019. 21:20 IST