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April 14, 2018

Modi launches Ayushman Bharat scheme : Highlights

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On the occasion of Ambedkar Jayanti, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today launched the 1st phase of the government's ambitious Ayushman Bharat healthcare programme by inaugurating its first wellness centre in Bijapur (Chhattisgarh). This is a National Health Protection Scheme, which is aimed at creating a network of 1.5 lakh health and wellness centres at an estimated cost of ₹1200 crore. Here are the major highlights of this programme.

Highlights of Ayushman Bharat National Health Protection Scheme

Ayushman Bharat is National Health Protection Scheme, which will cover over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families (approximately 50 crore beneficiaries) providing coverage upto 5 lakh rupees per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization. Ayushman Bharat - National Health Protection Mission will subsume the on-going centrally sponsored schemes - Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) and the Senior Citizen Health Insurance Scheme (SCHIS).

This program has twin missions. They are,
  1. Creating a network of health and wellness centres to deliver comprehensive primary healthcare close to the community.
  2. Providing insurance cover to 40 per cent of India's population, that is most deprived, for secondary and tertiary care, including for instance, hospitalisation costs.
Features of Ayushman Bharat :
  • This scheme will have a defined benefit cover of Rs. 5 lakh per family per year.
  • Benefits of the scheme are portable across the country and a beneficiary covered under the scheme will be allowed to take cashless benefits from any public/private empanelled hospitals across the country.
  • This will be an entitlement based scheme with entitlement decided on the basis of deprivation criteria in the SECC (Socio Economic Caste Census) database.
  • The beneficiaries can avail benefits in both public and empanelled private facilities.
  • To control costs, the payments for treatment will be done on package rate (to be defined by the Government in advance) basis.
  • One of the core principles of this scheme is to co-operative federalism and flexibility to states.
  • States would need to have State Health Agency (SHA) to implement the scheme.
  • In partnership with NITI Aayog, a robust, modular, scalable and interoperable IT platform will be made operational which will entail a paperless, cashless transaction.
Note : The Ayushman Bharat scheme was approved by the Union Cabinet on March 21 this year with budgetary support of Rs 10,500 crore.

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