Key points on Ayushman Bharat programme
The Indian government has recently announced Ayushman Bharat programme to provide healthcare benefits for the 10Cr poor families. The past governments over the years have tried to provide healthcare benefits to the poor by starting many other healthcare schemes, for example, National Rural Health Mission, which was launched in 2005. However, all the previous schemes could not be much successful in providing the gains to the masses. So far, Ayushman Bharat programme is the most ambitious scheme proposed by the current NDA government in terms of coverage benefits.
KEY FACTS ABOUT AYUSHMAN BHARAT PROGRAMME
- The government aims to benefit approximate 10Cr families or around 40% of the population. This makes Ayushman Bharat program as world’s largest government-funded health care program.
- Every family will receive a benefit coverage up to Rs. 5Lac per year under National Health Protection Scheme.
- As per Neeti Ayog, it should cost the government around 1000-1200 Rs. as the premium of each family.
- The government has not yet declared the final dates to start providing the benefits under the scheme yet. However, the government should launch the scheme within this year itself before going to poll next year.
- The government has also planned to establish wellness centers to provide benefits under Ayushman Bharat programme. These centers will be providing free medicines and consultation to the beneficiaries.
- The government appointed Dr. Dinesh Arora, director at NITI Ayog, as director of Ayushman Bharat programme on 13-Feb-2018. He has previously worked as previously worked as an Executive Director, Rural Electrification Corporation and CEO RECPDCL.
- There are many challenges to implement the scheme, especially in the states where NDA is not the ruling party at present. Recently, states of Karnataka and West Bengal have shown their unwillingness to implement the scheme in their state.
Ayushman Bharat programme is still in its nascent state. The government has yet to explain a plan and process to fully communicate the scheme and implementation details at the ground level. If an honest attempt is made to implement the scheme then this can prove to be the biggest reform for the poor of this country after independence.