New Delhi: All empanelled hospitals under the Centre’s ambitious National Heath Protection Mission (NHPM) will appoint an ‘Ayushman Mitra’ to assist patients coming to the health facility and avail the packages under the scheme, said a health ministry official. The Union health ministry has launched a formal process to empanel public and private hospitals to achieve universal health coverage under the Ayushman Bharat-National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM) which aims to provide a coverage of Rs 5 lakh per family annually and benefit more than 10 crore poor families.
A senior ministry official said the Centre is simultaneously carrying out beneficiary identification and under the process 80 per cent of beneficiaries, based on the Socio Economic Caste Census (SECC) data in the rural and 60 per cent in the urban areas, have been identified.
Announced in the 2018 Budget, the AB-NHPM was touted as the ‘world’s largest government-funded healthcare scheme’.
Also, all the beneficiaries will be given letters having QR codes which will be scanned and a demographic authentication conducted for identification and to verify his or her eligibility to avail the benefits of the scheme.
Further, the government recently clarified that NABH is not mandatory for the hospitals to get empanelled under the scheme. However, hospitals will be encouraged to get NABH (National Accreditation Board of Health) pre-entry level accreditation/NQAS (National Quality Assurance Standards) for achieving quality milestones.
The hospital with NABH / NQAS accreditation can be incentivised for higher package rates subject to procedure and costing guidelines.
Also, the basic empanelment criteria allows empanelment of a hospital with a minimum of 10 beds, with the flexibility provided to the states to further relax this if required.
So far, 25 states and UTs have signed MoUs with the Health Ministry for implementing the scheme.
The AB-NHPS aims at providing a coverage of Rs 5 lakh per family annually and benefiting more than 10 crore poor families.
The scheme will target poor, deprived rural families and identified occupational category of urban workers families – 8.03 crore in rural and 2.33 crore in urban areas – as per the latest SECC data, and will cover around 50 crore people. The Modi government is eager to roll out the scheme pan India on August 15.