Money & Banking

Ayushman Bharat crosses 1.5-cr mark in hospital admissions as non-Covid-19 treatments resume

G Naga Sridhar Hyderabad | Updated on January 05, 2021

With Covid cases on the decline and people resuming treatments for other ailments, Ayushman Bharat, the flagship health insurance scheme of the Centre, has crossed the landmark of 1.5 crore in total hospital admissions.

 

The surge in the number of persons availing the scheme is clearly visible in the last three months, with an addition of about 24 lakh hospital admissions.

As on January 4, 2021, the total hospital admissions under Ayushman Bharat - Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB -PMJAY) stood at 1,50,66,436, as per the latest data. This involved a spend of about ₹17,000 crore. As on September 21, 2020, 1.26 crore hospital admissions were registered.

“In the main Covid-19 months, the number of hospital admissions was somewhat slower due to the halt of other non-emergency treatments by many hospitals.

“But now with the recent decline in new cases of the pandemic, people are going for treatment of other ailments as well,” a senior official told Business Line on Monday.

The scheme was launched on September 23, 2018, in Ranchi. It now has 24,180 empanelled hospitals with over 13 crore e-cards issued. It covers about 1,500 procedures, including Covid-19. Under the scheme, the Centre provides a cover of up to ₹5 lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation to about 60 crore beneficiaries.

Covid treatment

As per provisional numbers, about 40,000 have been treated for Covid-19 so far under the scheme, besides over 4 lakh tests performed.

In times of Covid, the scheme was used by migrant workers in large numbers, especially after the introduction of portability (allowing people to avail the cashless treatment facility in any State, irrespective of their nativity), with an aim to provide access to health care during the lockdown period last year.

The National Health Authority (NHA), which is the implementing agency for the scheme, also launched a campaign ‘Swasthya ki Chaanv, Shehar ho ya Gaanv’ to reach out migrant and educate and empower them to make use of free healthcare services under the scheme.

Going forward, Ayushman Bharat is expected to gain more traction as Telangana (that had refused to join the scheme two years ago) requested the Centre last week to extend the scheme to the State. Only Odisha and West Bengal are now out of the purview of the scheme.

The budget allocation for the implementation of AB-PMJAY has been increasing every year. While it was at ₹2,400 crore in 2018-19, it went up to ₹6,400 crore in 2020-21.

Published on January 04, 2021

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