Last month saw the launch of the Ayushman Bharat Yojana by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. It is a bold and ambitious step in the history of healthcare reforms in the nation. For the first time, a government has gone beyond lip sympathy on such a large scale. So what is this scheme all about and how can you participate, let’s discuss this in the next few paragraphs.
The Ayushman Bharat Yojana is built on the sustainable development goals as defined by the United Nations and the objective is to leave no person behind in the field of healthcare. In other words, this scheme is in the spirit of universal healthcare and envisages to provide care, medicines, and diagnostics to all citizens, urban or rural, who are below the poverty line as described in the socio-economic census of India.
This scheme would be delivered on two key pillars
- Health and Wellness Centers- to provide key diagnostics and free medicines
- National Health Protection Scheme- Enabling cashless treatment for up to Rs 5 Lakhs for a family at a private (Empaneled) or Public Hospital. This like a federated model, and would depend on building a state health agency.
Some other key elements of the scheme
- Insurance benefit covers up to INR 5 lakhs per year per family
- The yearly premium for the insurance will be shared between the Central and State/UT government on a specified ratio
- State Health Agency(SHA) will be established at the state level for rolling out of the scheme.
- More than 100 million families can get benefit from the scheme (which covers about more than 40% of India’s population).
- To make NHPS paperless and to encourage cashless transactions, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has partnered with NITI Aayog.
(Source: National Health Portal)
The scheme is off to a good start, the numbers in the first week are encouraging, according to this tweet from Dr. Dinesh Arora deputy CEO Ayushman Bharat.
So how can you get involved?
Well if you are reading this then, you are most probably not eligible for the scheme. But it may be important for you to understand that almost 6-7 crore people fall below the poverty line every year because of medical expenses. So clearly there is a clear and urgent need to fix these. Most of the major schemes run by this government has been to fix the social infrastructure. The Swaach Bharat Campaign was laying the foundation of the health situation. Sanitation is the key reason why we got control over infectious diseases.
Here is what you can do-
- I would encourage all of you to talk to your domestic helps, make them aware of the program.
- Encourage them to register for the program
- Read further on information on the scheme. The best place to start is the National Health Portal.
In the coming weeks we will discuss more on the scheme as such. Keep coming back with your comments and I will try to respond to them as soon as possible.