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Ayushman Bharat a ‘game changer’ in healthcare: Jaitley

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 01, 2019 Published on January 01, 2019

Ayushman Bharat to benefit more than 10 crore poor families.   -  Getty Images/iStockphoto

Minister says up to 6.85 lakh patients treated in 100 days

Up to 6.85 lakh patients have been provided treatment in the first 100 days since launch of Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY) popularly referred to as Ayushman Bharat, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in a statement today.

Also, 5.1 lakh claims have availed of the scheme, for which payment has been released. “This averages 5000 claims per day for the first 100 days. No patient have had to pay a single Rupee,” stated Jaitley.

The total number of hospitals covered by this scheme are both Government hospitals and private hospitals presently numbering 16,000 and increasing steadily. “More than 50 per cent of the implementing hospitals are in the private sector. Thus, a patient can enroll himself in empanelled hospital and get himself hospitalised upto charges of Rs. 5 lakh in a totally cashless and paperless manner,” he emphasized.

Launch of the scheme and its implementation has been relatively problem free, he observed. He further stated that 62.58 per cent of the Indian population has to pay their healthcare bills themselves. “Most find it unaffordable. Low healthcare insurance penetration, low financial protection and high out of pocket expenses pose major challenges,” he says.

Explaining the reasons behind it, Jaitley stated, “India’s healthcare system was always lacking. Besides inadequacy of healthcare institutions proportionate to India’s population, there were many other challenges. Besides important State supported institutions, the private institutions have now been established mainly around large metropolitan towns or Tier-I or Tier-II cities. Many public and private hospitals are of global quality. Their charges, if we compare to the cost elsewhere in the world, are extremely competitive, but for a large part of India’s population, these are considered beyond reach.”

The Government employees and those in other public institutions are generally supported by governmental healthcare programmes. Those in the armed forces are supported by the healthcare provided in those institutions. Some private sector corporates have a healthcare provision as part of their service conditions, but still a majority of population is deprived.

“Once awareness of the scheme increases, It is anticipated that in the next few years, almost 1 crore plus families will benefit each year,” Jaitley stated.

Published on January 01, 2019
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