Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the biggest government-funded health insurance scheme, the PM Jan Arogya Yojna (PMJAY) or Ayushman Bharat. He recalled late Shri B.R. Ambedkar while launching the scheme, and also remembered Pt. Deendayal Upadhyay as his birth anniversary was two days ago.
“The first part of Ayushman Bharat – the health and wellness centres, was launched on Babasaheb Ambedkar’s birth anniversary and the second part — the health assurance scheme — is being launched two days before Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay’s birth anniversary,” the PM said in Ranchi.
Ayushman Bharat is deemed to be the government’s biggest funded scheme. It will serve around 50 crore Indians. It is an appreciable step as it would be covering a large number of beneficiaries that would provide a good quality health care access to the underprivileged sect of the society. The scheme is estimated to cost about Rs. 12,000 crore annually.
PM Modi called the scheme a “game changer.” He said that it is an initiative of the government especially to serve the poor of the country. The scheme will be in effect from Sunday.
“Some call it Modicare, some call it a scheme for the poor. It is definitely a scheme to serve the poor,” the PM Modi said.
“PMJAY-Ayushman Bharat is the biggest government-sponsored healthcare scheme in the world,” PM Modi said. He also said, “The total number of beneficiaries from Ayushman Bharat is more than the population of America, Canada, and Mexico combined. Organisations across the world will study Ayushman Bharat to study how the government funded this large-scale scheme.”
PM Modi said, “The helpline number of Ayushman Bharat is 14555. It should be memorized by one and all.” This way he urged the people to memorize the helpline number of the scheme.
The launch was attended by the Union Health Minister Shri J.P. Nadda along with the Chief Minister of Jharkhand Raghubar Das, State Governor Draupadi Murmu and others.
“It will cover 1,300 illnesses, including serious illnesses such as cancer and heart disease, and pre-existing illnesses. Private hospitals, too, will be part of this scheme. The amount of Rs. 5 lakh will cover investigations, medicine and pre-hospitalization expenses, etc.,” PM Modi added.
Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda said, “Ayushman Bharat will bring a paradigm shift in the country’s health sector. A ‘golden card’ will ensure their cashless treatment. In case a person does not have a card, he or she will be treated in any one of the 13,000 hospitals, which are part of the Ayushman Bharat scheme, after taking the person’s thumb impression.”
31 states and Union Territories have signed the MOU with the Central Government to implement the programme. Remaining states are Telangana, Odisha, Delhi, Kerala, and Punjab.