Mahatma Gandhi has once said “It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver”
The ongoing pandemic has once again made people realize that the importance of health remains on top. To realize the concept of universal health Ayushman Bharat Diwas is celebrated by the nation on April 30. The motive behind the celebration of this day is to promote affordable medical facilities in remote areas of the country based on the Socio-Economic Caste Census database. The day is also celebrated to promote health and wellness and ensure insurance benefits to the poor and vulnerable section of society. The scheme is also titled National Health Protection Scheme and medicare. Some of the diseases covered by this scheme include Paediatric Cancer and many others.
Ayushman Bharat Programme is an umbrella health scheme of the government of India that was launched in 2018 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This scheme and various other Government schemes are an important part of the UPSC syllabus. Every year, questions are asked from Government Schemes in the UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam.
The day also aimed to benefit 50 crore beneficiaries in India and it covers secondary and tertiary healthcare. The scheme aims to provide healthcare to more than 10 crore families in India. The 10 crore families consist of 8 crore families in rural areas and 2.33 crore families from urban areas. This day is of national importance to mark the launch of Ayushman Bharat Yojana which is also known as Pradhan Mantri Jan ArogyaYojana (PMJAY). It was launched by PM Narendra Modi in the year 2018 to provide various benefits with a cover of 5 lakh rupees per family to be given per year. Before moving further it is important to know about the program and its level of penetration across the country.
The Ayushman Bharat programme was launched in the year 2018. The prime concern of this program was to address health issues at all three levels – primary, secondary, and tertiary. This program has two components:
Ayushman Bharat consisted of an integrated approach comprising health insurance and primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare. On the other hand, the Health and Wellness Centres were aimed at improving access to cheap and quality healthcare services at the primary level. PM-JAY was aimed to provide financial protection for availing healthcare services at the secondary and tertiary levels. The purpose behind launching Ayushman Bharat Yojna was to meet one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations - "leave no one behind." Data provided by the health ministry claim that India has operationalised 75,532 Ayushman Bharat-Health and Wellness Centres (HCW) so far despite the COVID-19 pandemic and is on track to functionalised 1.5 lakh HWCs by December 2022. So far Ayushman Bharat has proved itself to be the largest government-funded healthcare programme in the world with over 50 crore beneficiaries. On the lines of Obama Care, It has been dubbed ‘Modicare’.
The PM Jan Arogya Yojna is the most vital component of this scheme as this provides health insurance to poor people. PM-JAY was launched on 23rd September 2018 in Ranchi by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. PM-JAY aims to provide a health cover of Rs 5 lakh per family per year to over 10.74 crore poor and vulnerable families. PM-JAY beneficiaries are from the bottom 40 per cent of the Indian population. PM-JAY is fully funded by the central government and the cost of implementation is shared between the centre and states. PM-JAY provides cashless hospitalization. It covers up to three days of pre-hospitalization and 15 days post-hospitalization expenses like tests and medicines. PM-JAY benefits are portable across the country, that is, a person can visit any empanelled public or private healthcare facility in India for cashless hospitalization. All pre-existing conditions are covered from day one and services include around 1,393 procedures.
However, the financial inclusion and lack of physical infrastructure are the biggest hindrances in the implementation of this programme. Lack of awareness and bureaucratic hurdles have also made this scheme less efficient. Making good use of technology and innovation can further reduce the overall cost of healthcare. AI-powered mobile applications can provide high-quality, low-cost, patient-centric, smart wellness solutions.
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