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Modi’s Ayushman Bharat Scheme to be launched on Independence Day

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On the occasion of the 72nd Independence Day of India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to announce the launch of Ayushman Bharat-National Health Protection Scheme on a pilot basis in some states, a full-fledged roll-out of his pet project expected to be by September-end, sources said.

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The Ayushman Bharat-National Health Protection Mission aims to provide coverage of Rs 5 lakh per family annually, estimated to benefit more than 10 crore poor families.

The scheme is set to cover around 50 crore people and will target poor, deprived rural families and identified occupational category of urban workers’ families, 8.03 crore in rural and 2.33 crore in urban areas, according to the latest Socio-Economic Caste Census.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi will talk about the scheme in his Independence Day speech and is also likely to announce its launch on a pilot basis in some states tomorrow,” a government official informed.

“While Punjab, Kerala, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Delhi are yet to come on board, Odisha has refused to be a part of the scheme,” the official said, adding that as many as 22 states have preferred to run the scheme on a “trust model.”

About Rs 10,000 crore has been allocated by the centre for the project, which is touted to be the world’s largest government funded healthcare insurance programme. The centre is yet to release its share of funds to the states.

The Union Health Ministry has launched a formal process to enlist public and private hospitals to achieve universal health coverage under the programme.

The centre simultaneously carried out beneficiary identification. 80 percent beneficiaries, based on the Socio Economic Caste Census data in the rural and the urban areas have been identified under the process.

The Health Ministry included 1,354 packages in the scheme under which treatment for coronary bypass, knee replacements and stents along with others would be provided at 15-20 percent cheaper rates than the Central Government Health Scheme.

An official said that each enlisted hospital will then have an ‘Ayushman Mitra’ to assist patients who shall coordinate with beneficiaries and the hospital. They will run a help desk, check documents to verify the eligibility and enrolment to the scheme.

Letters having QR codes will be given to all beneficiaries, will be scanned and a demographic authentication will be conducted for identification, to verify his or her eligibility to avail the benefits of the scheme.
The National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers will be not mandatory for the hospitals to get enlisted under the scheme, the government clarified. Yet, hospitals with NABH or National Quality Assurance Standards accreditation can be motivated for higher package rates which will be subject to procedure and costing guidelines.

The basic enlistment criteria allows enlistment of a hospital with a minimum of 10 beds, with the flexibility provided to the states to further reduce and restructure the criteria if required.

Also Read: Independence Day 2018: Special message from Indian Army to motivate the nation

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