Aadhaar preferable, not ‘must’, for Ayushman Bharat: Health Ministry

Maitri Porecha New Delhi | Updated on July 12, 2018 Published on July 12, 2018

The Union Health Ministry has said that though the Aadhaar card is preferable to seek benefits under the government’s cashless insurance scheme, it is not a “must.” The clarification was issued by the Ministry even as there is a subtle push for enrolled beneficiaries to apply for the Aadhaar card if they do not have one.

The clarification reads: “The National Protection Mission being issued by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHWF) under Section 7 of the Aadhaar Act, merely enables the implementation agencies to ask for the beneficiary Aadhaar card to authenticate their identity. In order to authenticate the identity of beneficiaries accurately, the use of Aadhaar card is preferable, but it is not a ‘must’. There shall be no denial of benefit for want of Aadhaar number.

Union Health Minister JP Nadda said, “We will provide services to all eligible beneficiaries with or without Aadhaar cards.”

Even as Aadhaar is not a “must,” the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Swasthya Suraksha Mission (PMRSSM) states that if a beneficiary has been identified and registered through Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) data and other identification mechanisms such as the ration card, she/he will not be denied treatment for the first visit.

“The patient will also have to sign a declaration that she/he does not have Aadhaar and understand that an Aadhaar enrolment slip or Aadhaar card will have to be required to avail next treatment,” the PMRSSM guidelines circulated by the Ministry state.

“The issue is locked in litigation at the Supreme Court. We will see when the decision arrives. For now it is advisable for those who do not have Aadhaar to apply for one. It just makes the implementation of the scheme that much smoother,” said a senior Health Ministry official who did not wish to be named.

“Furthermore, it also makes the implementation agencies accountable for setting up of Aadhaar enrolment centres for the beneficiaries who are not yet enrolled for Aadhaar, at convenient locations,” the clarification reads.

However, it is yet to be seen if a patient goes for seeking benefits of Ayushman Bharat for the second time, will not having an Aadhaar card be a matter of exemption and patient’s choice.

Published on July 12, 2018
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