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Centre to include ASHA and anganwadi workers/helpers in Ayushman Bharat scheme

  • Published
    12th Feb, 2024

After the Central government announced its decision to include Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) and Anganwadi workers and helpers into the free cover for health treatment under Ayushman Bharat Scheme, the Health Ministry has so far received Aadhaar details of 23 lakh anganwadi workers and helpers and over three lakh ASHA workers from various States.

What is Ayushman Bharat scheme?

  • Ayushman Bharat, Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) provides health coverage up to Rs 5 lakh a family a year to poor and vulnerable families.

The numbers

  • In India, currently 55 crore individuals corresponding to 12 crore families are covered under the Ayushman Bharat scheme.
  • The government has created approximately 28.45 crore Ayushman cards till December 20, 2023.
  • A total of 6.11 crore hospital admissions amounting to Rs 78,188 crores had been authorised under the scheme, of which 1.7 crore hospitals admissions worth over Rs 25,000 crores have been authorised during the year 2023 (Jan-Dec 2023).
  • A total of 26,901 hospitals including 11,813 private hospitals have been empanelled under AB-PMJAY to provide healthcare services to scheme beneficiaries.
  • The scheme has ensured gender equity in access to healthcare services with women accounting for approximately 49% of the total Ayushman cards created and approximately 48% of total authorised hospital admissions.

 What is the reason behind this decision?


  • Anganwadi is a type of rural mother and child care centre in India.
  • They were started in 1975 as part of the Integrated Child Development Services program to combat child hunger and malnutrition.
  • A typical Anganwadi center provides basic health care in Indian villages.
  • It is a part of the Indian public health care system.
  • The decision to include this group of healthcare workers was announced in the interim Union Budget 2024-25
  • ASHA programme is a key component of community processes that has continuously evolved over the last decade and a half.
  • ASHA has emerged as the cornerstone of the National Health Mission and the group has been acknowledged for their substantial contribution in improving access to care for communities.
  • ASHAs are also a critical component of the Community platforms like Village Health and Sanitation Committees, Mahila Arogya Samiti and Community Based Planning and Monitoring under National Health Mission.

The numbers

  • According to Health Ministry, there were over 13 lakh Anganwadi workers and over 10 lakh anganwadi helpers in the country as on 31st December 2023.
  • In its annual ASHA update 2020-21 it further adds that the country has 9.83 Lakh ASHAs in position against the target of 10.35 lakh across 35 States and UTs (i.e., all except Goa and Chandigarh) making it the world’s largest community volunteer programme.
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