“Cashless, paperless and portable healthcare and treatment facility provided by Ayushman Bharat-PMJAY scheme for poor and underserved families has substantially reduced their out-of-pocket expenditure and in turn financial bankruptcy due to severe and prolonged illness, and expensive treatment”. Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya stated this as he interacted virtually with some beneficiaries from different part of the country, here today, as Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) completes four years of implementation today. Union Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare, Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar was also present. Shri Rishikesh Patel, Health Minister of Gujarat attended the event virtually.
The Union Health Minister shared the travails and pain of the beneficiaries and their families who narrated their experience of severe health crisis, and their inability of meeting the healthcare expenditure on their own. They also relived their joy on receiving financial support under AB-PMJAY which enabled them to seek quality tertiary treatment in PMJAY empanelled hospitals.
Dr. Mandaviya elaborated on the various features of the scheme and stated that “Ayushman Bharat has strengthened the Government’s mission to ensure Health for All”. He further urged States who are still to onboard the scheme to join in this national mission of providing affordable healthcare aimed towards citizen welfare. “With co-branding of the Ayushman Cards, we shall soon provide all eligible beneficiaries with the card”, he said. So far, more than 19 crore AB-PMJAY cards have been created and more than 3.8 cr beneficiaries have availed of free treatment under the scheme.
Highlighting the salient features of Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM), he noted that ABHA Health ID will prove to be a game changer in the health sector. Few beneficiaries narrated the ease of creating the health ID and benefits of storing their health records on one platform. The heath accounts are highly helpful in identifying, authenticating and easily accessing one’s health records without any hassle or charge, they informed. Union Health Minister appreciated the beneficiaries who have made their online accounts and stated that the youth are ambassadors of government’s schemes and can help senior citizens in accessing benefits of such digital interventions.
Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar highlighted that the scheme has brought major changes in the healthcare sector and has made it accessible for the poor families. AB PMJAY has been successful in providing quality health services to the beneficiaries who come from weak financial backgrounds and might have not been able to afford expensive treatment. Apart from providing healthcare services to the needy, the scheme is also educating the beneficiaries about their healthcare rights. She gave the clarion call for building upon this foundation of robust physical and digital infrastructure by increasing coverage of the scheme.