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Completing 157 days, PMJAY has covered hospitalisation worth Rs 18 cr : Indu Bhushan

Leading experts gathered at the maiden Ayushman Bharat Conclave to discuss major challenges, opportunities and the way forward towards successful implementation of the scheme

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Completing 157 days, Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) has enrolled 33 states and it has covered 13.5 lakh hospitalistion, which is worth Rs 18 crore, informed Dr Indu Bhushan, CEO, National Health Authority (NHA).

Speaking at the first edition of the Ayushman Bharat Conclave, Bhushan said, “Every year, six crore people fall below poverty line due to catastrophic health expenditure. Besides, 40 per cent of the poor people do not have access to private healthcare that provides 70 per cent of the services. The scheme’s vision is to help the people to get affordable healthcare services.”

Mentioning about the state enrolled in the scheme, Bhushan said,“ Out of 36 states, 33 are on board for rolling out the programme and added that Punjab and Kerala are going to start soon. Also, we are yet to have an official word from West Bengal on withdrawing from the programme. The states also have the option to expand the beneficiary base it wants to cover – in that way, Ayushman Bharat has the possibility of covering as many as 14 crore families, more than the targeted number.”

Giving out the report card for 157 days of Ayushman Bharat, Bhushan also said that two crore health cards have been issued under the scheme and 92 per cent of the e-cards have been verified through Aadhaar, while over 6,000 cards issued are portable. He said that out of the 14,708 empanelled hospitals, 55 per cent are from the private sector taking care of 65 per cent of the treatment needs of the beneficiaries.

“Ayushman Bharat is a great leap to universal healthcare. It is a gamechanger on the scale of providing services, a more meaningful engagement of private sector hospitals as well as has unique aspects of providing affordable healthcare through collective bargaining of services, consumables, and devices, and providing cash on the delivery of services. The programme increases access of the poor to quality, affordable and accountable healthcare and reduces the fragmentation of the services providers – public sector providers can refer patients to private hospitals for tertiary services,” Bhushan added.

Organising the first mega conclave of Ayushman Bharat, Kamal Narayan, Principal Founder, India Health and Wellness Summit initiatives, said, “Health doesn’t discriminate between rich and poor. Ayushman Bharat is a crucial step that the government of India has taken for creating a happy and prosperous country; the possibilities are immense. I hope that the conclave today will have some very insightful discussions, assessing initiatives and exploring collaboration opportunities.”

Tim Kelsey, CEO, Australian Digital Health Agency, was awarded the ‘Torchbearer of the Ayushman Bharat’ award, emphasised on paperless healthcare services and increasing the use of technology in providing healthcare services, especially in the rural and remote areas.

“Paper-based healthcare has failed – it is not efficient, cannot keep up to the large amount of data and track trends. It is unable to support precision medicine. We need to work much harder on creating a clinical culture to adopt technology to ensure safety, quality and equity in healthcare. We also need to empower people who now do not question the recommendations of the doctor. Digitising healthcare will also help it make more accountable and transparent,” he added.

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