Ayushman Bharat Programme is an umbrella health scheme of the Government of India. It was launched in 2018 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Ayushman Bharat programme was launched in 2018 to address health issues at all levels – primary, secondary and tertiary. It has two components:
- Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY), earlier known as the National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS)
- Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs)
Ayushman Bharat is an integrated approach comprising health insurance and primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare. The HWCs are aimed at improving access to cheap and quality healthcare services at the primary level. PM-JAY will cover the financial protection for availing healthcare services at the secondary and tertiary levels.
Ayushman Bharat is the largest government-funded healthcare programme in the world with over 50 crore beneficiaries. It has been dubbed ‘Modicare’.
There are 1300 diseases including serious health conditions like heart & liver ailments, cancer, tuberculosis are covered under AyushmanBharat and this very great help for those who cannot afford the costly treatment.
Features of Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat Yojana
- Over 10.74 crore poor and vulnerable families are covered across the country, No limit on family size and age of members.
- Priority is given to girl child, women and senior citizens. Free treatment can be availed at all public and empanelled private hospitals.
- The scheme was able to enrol 18,236 hospitals. Of these, 9,665 were private hospitals. In fact, of all the treatments served, 62 per cent of the expenditure was incurred in private hospitals. Around 46.5 lakh individuals availed treatment, with an average hospitalization cost of Rs 16,107.
With Ayushman Bharat sponsoring almost all secondary care and most of tertiary care hospitalizations, things are never going to be the same. Because of the large number of surgeries done in public and private hospitals, better infrastructure will come up which can easily take care of malaria, TB and HIV, apart from all other
With the launch of the National Medical Commission by the government, the much debated shortage of medical specialists can be addressed in just three years.
Ayushman Bharat can transform healthcare by encouraging digital medical records.
Private healthcare was becoming unviable well before Ayushman Bharat, mainly because of the Central Government Health Scheme. The scheme, which sets the benchmark for procedural pricing for all government schemes, did not make major changes in its pricing of procedures, which is not scientifically arrived at, in the last 10 years. Compounding the problem was delayed payments by government sponsored health schemes, at times after more than a year.
The only grievance is the pending request for upward revision of some of the rates which assume will happen soon.
The AB-PMJAY offers a unique opportunity to improve the health of hundreds of millions of Indians and eliminate a major source of poverty afflicting the nation. There are, however, substantial challenges that need to be overcome to enable these benefits to be realised by the Indian population and ensure that the scheme makes a sustainable contribution to the progress of India towards UHC. UHC has become a key guiding target for health systems around the world under the Sustainable Development Goals to improve the health of the global population and overcome the scourge of medical-related impoverishment. The success of UHC is measured by the access of health services across the population, the types of services that are available, and the financial protection offered to the population. While there are obvious resource constraints in implementing AB-PMJAY.