Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to announce the launch of the Ayushman Bharat-National Health Protection Scheme (AB-NHPS) on a pilot basis in some states on the occasion of Independence Day, with the full-scale roll-out of his pet project expected in September end.
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 scheme will target poor, deprived rural families and identified the 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.
While Punjab, Kerala, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Delhi are yet to come on board, Odisha has refused to be a part of the scheme. The Centre has allocated about Rs. 10,000 crore for the project, which is claimed to be the world’s largest government-funded healthcare insurance programme. It is yet to release its share of the funds to the states.
The Union health ministry has launched a formal process to impanel public and private hospitals to achieve universal health coverage under the programme. The center was simultaneously carrying out beneficiary identification. Under the process, 80 percent of beneficiaries, based on the Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) data in the rural and the urban areas, have been identified.
The health ministry has 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 percent cheaper rates than the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS).