PM Modi Launches World's Largest Govt-Funded Healthcare Scheme 'Ayushman Bharat'

| September 23 , 2018 , 14:47 IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the world's largest government-funded healthcare programme Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan AarogyaYojana (AB-PMJAY) to benefit 50 crore Indians, from Jharkhand's capital of Ranchi on Sunday.

The Ayushman Bharat scheme, which was first mentioned during the 2018 Budget Session of Parliament, aims to provide coverage of up to Rs 5 lakh per year per family to 10 crore economically backward families. While the scheme will be implemented in nearly 31 states and union territories, others including Telangana, Odisha, Delhi, Kerala and Punjab have not signed on to the programme with the Centre.

NITI Aayog member Dr Vinod Paul, the chief architect of the Ayushman Bharat scheme, said, "The prime minister will launch the scheme on September 23 but effectively it will become operational from September 25 on the birth anniversary of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay."

The coverage provided by the Ayushman Bharat scheme will be applicable for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation and provide cashless and paperless access to services for beneficiaries at the point of service.

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Over 10.74 crore vulnerable entitled families, consisting of approximately 50 crore beneficiaries overall, will be eligible for the health coverage scheme, making Ayushman Bharat the world's largest fully government-financed health protection scheme.

To access the benefits of the scheme at government and empanelled private hospitals, the concerned patient would only have to establish his or her identity, either through Aadhaar card, election card or ration card. However, having an Aadhaar card is not mandatory.

The Ayushman Bharat programme is being funded with 60 percent contribution from the Centre and the remaining from the states.