With the resolve to provide affordable healthcare to every citizen of the country especially the disadvantaged section, the Modi Government since 2014 is committed towards the philosophy of ‘Antyodaya’ which ensures that the benefits of the growth and development policies reaches the last person in the society. India being the fastest developing economy in the world is committed towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals-3 (SDGs) by providing Universal Health Coverage (UHC) to every household of the country. The present Government under the dynamic leadership of PM Modi has made health the topmost priority in their developmental agenda. The Central Government has addressed the critical gaps and challenges in the health care system, by introducing various ambitious healthcare programmes such as ‘Mission Indradhanush’ in 2014 which focuses on achieving full immunization coverage of children’s and pregnant women in the country. Further, the Union Government has announced ‘National Health Mission’ in 2017 with the commitment of provide access of health facilities at affordable cost to the poor and vulnerable section of the society. Also, Pradhan Mantri Matru Suraksha Yojana, Surakshit Matritva Aashwasan (SUMAN), Mission Parivar Vikas schemes to provide health security to the people.
With the commitment of providing comprehensive need-based health care services to the poor and vulnerable section, the Government of India launched its flagship programme ‘Ayushman Bharat - Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY)’ on 23rd September, 2018 with an objective to provide access to health care facilities to approximately 50 Crore people of over 10.74 crore poor and vulnerable families and provide them insurance cover of Rs. 5 Lakh per family per year and health security protection. The initiative was designed to meet SDG goals - 3 and its underlining commitment, which is to ‘leave no one behind’. The programme has two goals, to create a network of health and wellness infrastructure across the nation and to provide health insurance cover to at least 40% of the total population which is deprived of health care services.
As of December 2021, the scheme has achieved a great milestone by authorizing 2 crore hospital admissions since the launch of PM-JAY and providing treatment worth of over 25,000 crores. The 2 crores free and cashless transactions shows that there was a lot of demand and need for scheme like PM-JAY in the country. Under this scheme, around 23,000 hospitals are empanelled which include 40.70% private and 58.56% public hospitals which are providing secondary and tertiary care to patients. In addition to this, more than 16 crore Ayushman cards have been provided, 14,884 Health facilities and 3,981 doctors are registered through this initiative helping the beneficiaries to get free treatment in any public or private hospital in the country.
The scheme during the Corona crisis has played a crucial role in providing health care service to the poor and vulnerable section of the society. As per the data, around 8.3 Lakh hospital admissions have been authorized for the treatment of COVID-19 under Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana in last two years. Today with the inspiring vision of PM Modi ‘Sabka Prayas’, India is maintaining lowest mortality rate and highest recovery rate of Covid 19. Further, the pandemic has also affected large number of migrant laborers and in the time of the crisis the government has ensured that even migrant workers have access to health facilities in any hospital across India and avail benefits under the scheme. The Union Government has allocated maximum budget for PM-JAY to address the issues in the health sector and providing health services to the poor who cannot afford it. In the financial year 2021, the government has allocated maximum budget of Rs. 6400 Crore for this scheme which is 41% more than previous budgetary allocation which shows the government’s commitment towards the welfare of poor people in the country.
To increase the inclusion and sensitize the people about the scheme, the government is implementing initiatives like ‘Apke Dwar Ayushman’ with three key objectives, namely, improving awareness, increasing e-card penetration which will ultimately lead to increased utilization under the scheme; ‘Ayushman CAPF’ initiative to provide benefits of the scheme to the CAPF personnel and his family. And ‘Ayushman Mitra’ initiative to provide assistance to the people in availing the Ayushman card.
Views expressed by the author are personal.
© Copyright 2015 PPRC