Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday announced the launch of the Ayushman Bharat-National Health Protection Scheme (AB-NHPS) on a pilot basis, in his speech to the nation delivered from the rampart of Red Fort on the occasion of Independence Day. The full-scale roll-out of the project is scheduled for September 25, 2018. Addressing the 50 crore citizens of India, Modi said, "Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Abhiyaan will be launched on September 25 this year. It is high time we ensure that the poor of India get proper access to good quality and affordable healthcare".
"The healthcare initiatives of the government will have a positive impact on 50 crore Indians. It is important to ensure that we free the poor of India from poverty due to which they cannot afford healthcare," PM Modi added.
Addressing the people of India from the ramparts of the Red Fort. Watch. https://t.co/thwrgd8nb5— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 15, 2018
The ambitious Ayushman Bharat-National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM) aims to provide coverage of Rs. 5 lakh per family annually, benefiting more than 10 crore poor families. The Centre has allocated about Rs. 10,000 crore for the project, which is claimed to be the largest government funded healthcare insurance programme across the world.
The scheme will mainly target poor, deprived rural families and identified occupational category of urban workers' families, 8.03 crore in rural and 2.33 crore in urban areas, as per the latest SECC data, and will cover around 50 crore people.
However, the much-awaited scheme will be run on "trust model" in as many as 22 states across India.
The health ministry has also included 1,354 packages in the scheme under which treatment for coronary bypass, knee replacements and stenting among others would be provided at 15-20 per cent cheaper rates than the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS).
Also, all the beneficiaries will be given letters having QR codes which will be scanned and a demographic authentication conducted for identification and to verify his or her eligibility to avail the benefits of the scheme.