New Delhi, Sep 23 (UNI) Altogether 1.26 crore people have availed treatment free-of-cost and more than 12 and a half crore e-cards have been issued since the launch of Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana in September 2018, Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Harsh Vardhan has said.
Dr Harsh Vardhan, who was presiding over Arogya Manthan 2.0 late on Tuesday on the second anniversary of the Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, described the scheme as a historic step and the largest health plan in the world, providing free health insurance to more than 53 crore Indians of socially and economically weaker sections by providing health insurance of Rs five lakh per family per year.
The Union Minister said that so far, free treatment worth more than Rs 15,500 crore has been done. This has saved the lives of people of such families by saving the very poor from large expenditure on health care. He said, “The happiness that I am getting from the successful operation of this scheme cannot be described in words.”
Dr Harsh Vardhan said that 1.26 crore beneficiaries were given free treatment under the scheme in these two years. More than 23,000 hospitals are listed in the scheme, and 45 per cent of the listed hospitals are private hospitals, which accounted for 52 per cent of the total free treatment. So far, 12.5 crore e-cards have been issued under the scheme.
He said 57 per cent of the total amount used under this scheme is spent for the treatment of major diseases like cancer, heart disease, orthopedics and neonatal diseases.
Dr Harsh Vardhan said the Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana is an important step towards universal health care, because under it, advanced treatment facilities are being provided to a large section of the country’s total population. “The experience and feedback received from the beneficiaries becomes our strength, which makes us implement this scheme with more energy.”
He said health can be called a part of human rights. About 1,50,000 health health centres are being set up in the country. “It may be easy to achieve the goal of universal care in small countries, but in a large country like India, it is a challenging task that we are pursuing well.”
The Union Minister said that this year, attention will be paid to provide treatment facilities to such groups of the population who are currently deprived of it. These groups are – garbage pickers, people injured in road accidents, truck drivers among others. He said the Ayushman Bharat Scheme in association with the recently-launched National Digital Health Mission will form the pillar of the country’s health care system and will expand the scope of providing safe, timely, quality and appropriate treatment facilities.
On the occasion, Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Ashwini Kumar Choubey said the scheme will be helpful in expanding the scope of universal health coverage.