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47 lakh patients have availed treatment under Modicare: Union Health Minister

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New Delhi: Under the Ayushman Bharat scheme, more than 21,000 Health & Wellness Centres have become operational and in the first year since its launch, about 4.7 million (47 lakh) people have availed of treatments under its Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) pillar which provides health assurance cover to the most needy people of the country, stated Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare.

During his interaction with the media at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club in New Delhi to mark the successful completion of one year of the Ayushman Bharat-PMJAY scheme, the Union Health Minister said, “The Government of India is committed to Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and through our Ayushman Bharat(Long Live India) Scheme we are well on our way to achieving it by reducing inequalities in access to inpatient care, reducing the incidence of catastrophic health expenditures, and improving access and quality of health services in the public and private sectors.”

Dr Harsh Vardhan further stated that Ayushman Bharat is the vision of the Hon. Prime Minister Narendra Modi Ji to provide health care to the poor and vulnerable Indians, who need it the most.

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He further stated that in designing and implementing this scheme, India has drawn from the experience of other middle-income countries that have undertaken major health financing reforms towards achieving universal health coverage and the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3.8 related to UHC.

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Highlighting the scheme, Dr Harsh Vardhan stated that it is probably the biggest public healthcare initiative in the world. While the 1.5 lakh Health and Wellness Centres (to be operationalised by December 2022) provide comprehensive primary care (CPHC) including preventive and promotive healthcare close to the communities, PMJAY covers about 550 million poor and vulnerable Indians. It provides a health assurance cover over USD 7000 (INR 500,000) per family per year for secondary and tertiary care for serious and catastrophic illnesses.

PMJAY provides cashless and paperless access to services for the beneficiary at the point of service.

Dr Harsh Vardhan further stated that this year, as we complete one year of the launch of Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY scheme, about 4.7 million people have availed of treatments worth over USD 1070 million (INR 75000 million). Of the total amount utilized, 55% has been on tertiary procedures that were not covered under the predecessor scheme that primarily focused on secondary care. Besides, more than 102 million beneficiary cards have been issued Dr Harsh Vardhan further stated that under PMJAY, nearly 18,100 hospitals have been empanelled across the country.

Of this, 53% of the hospitals empanelled are private, especially multi-speciality, and 62% of the treatments have been in these private hospitals. A unique feature of PMJAY is its portability, which has helped the eligible poor and migrant workers to seek treatment outside their states. So far, there have been more than 40,000 portability cases, he informed.

Read Also: Consider all beneficiaries of Food Security Act eligible for Modicare: Rajasthan CM to PM

“NHA has a comprehensive anti-fraud policy that draws on global and national experiences including six-country (U.S, Indonesia, Philippines, Turkey, Korea and Croatia) case studies and four Indian state case studies (Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana). Ayushman Bharat PMJAY is being governed on a zero-tolerance approach towards any kind of fraud, and the anti-fraud framework rests on three key pillars of prevention, detection and deterrence. A total of 97 errant hospitals have been de-empanelled and penalties worth more than USD 214000 or INR 15 million have been levied”, Dr Harsh Vardhan said. He added that NHA has recently launched an initiative of quality certification standards and a process for digital quality certification for Ayushman Bharat PMJAY empanelled hospitals which will be an independent exercise carried out by Quality Council of India.

The Union Health Minister also stated that to mark the first anniversary of Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY, the National Health Authority is organizing a 2-day national workshop, Arogya Manthan, on September 30th and October 1st, 2019.

Informing about the primary pillar of Ayushman Bharat, Dr Harsh Vardhan stated that through more than 21,000 AB-HWCs, the service area population [around 50 million (5 crores) population empanelled to these centres] are getting outpatient service besides the assured maternal and child healthcare services and management of common ailments through newly posted, trained and appropriately oriented Community Health Officers (CHOs). The operational AB-HWCs have a footfall of 1,70,63,522 patients to date.

Further elaborating on the benefits that have accrued from the AB-HWCs, the Health Minister stated that more than 15 million (1.5 Crore) population is screened for hypertension and more than 7 million (70 lakhs) people are put on treatment; similarly, around 13 million (1.3 crores) population are screened for Diabetes and more than 3.1 million (31 lakhs) people are on treatment. Similarly, for suspected cases for the three common cancers (breast, cervix and oral), they are referred to the higher public healthcare facilities for diagnosis and treatment. He added that more than 7.6 million (76 lakhs) population is screened for oral cavity cancer and out of these, 10,218 people are on treatment. While more than 5.3 million (53 lakhs) women are screened for breast cancer and around 9700 women are on treatment, more than 3.7 million (37 lakhs) women are screened for cervical cancer and around 10000 women are on treatment. Also, more than 16 million (1.6 Crores) have been provided medicines and around 4.9 million (49 lakhs) population are provided diagnostic services. Dr Harsh Vardhan also informed that teleconsultation services to the people with the qualified medical officers and specialists for cases referred from Sub Health centre level and PHC level respectively will be introduced shortly. A pilot is being done with eSanjeevani application of C-DAC, Mohali in Gujarat; after the due security audit, it will be rolled out in all functional AB-HWCs in a phased manner.

Read Also: Modicare is game-changer; biggest public healthcare initiative ever: Dr Harsh Vardhan


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