World’s largest publicly funded health insurance programme, covering around 55 crore individuals.
The Aayushman Bharat Jan Arogya Yojana, launched in 2018, is a landmark initiative that aims to provide universal health coverage to the poorest and most vulnerable sections of Indian society. Speaking at the Sushruta Health Awards organised by ITV Network, Deepti Gaur Mukherjee, the CEO of the National Health Authority, the apex body responsible for implementing the scheme, shared some of the key features and achievements of the scheme.
According to Mukherjee, the scheme is the world’s largest publicly funded health insurance programme, covering around 55 crore individuals belonging to 12 crore families. The scheme provides a health cover of ₹5 lakh per family per year, covering secondary and tertiary care in both public and private hospitals. The beneficiaries do not have to pay any premium or co-payment for availing of the benefits, making the scheme truly affordable and accessible.
Mukherjee also highlighted the strong partnership between the public and private sectors, which has been instrumental in ensuring the success of the scheme. She said that around 12,000 private hospitals and 16,000 government hospitals have been empaneled under the scheme, offering a wide range of medical procedures and specialties. She praised the private sector for its active participation in and contribution to the scheme.
One of the unique aspects of the scheme is the inclusion of mental health packages, which aim to address the growing mental health challenges faced by the Indian population. Mukherjee said that the scheme recognises the importance of mental health as a part of the comprehensive healthcare initiative and offers coverage for various mental health conditions and treatments. She also mentioned the recent addition of organ transplant coverage, which has made the scheme more inclusive and beneficial for people.
The Aayushman Bharat Yojana is a visionary and ambitious scheme that has transformed the healthcare sector in India. It has provided a safety net to millions of Indians who were previously excluded from quality and affordable healthcare. It has also fostered a culture of cooperation and innovation among public and private health providers. It is a scheme that truly reflects the spirit of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas’.
Speaking about how Aayushman Bharat helped Mr. Mohamad Ansar, he shared his experience of receiving a life-saving treatment scheme at the Sushruta Awards organised by ITV Network. His narrative highlights the profound impact that the Aayushman Bharat card, also known as the Aayushman card, has had on the lives of countless individuals across the country.
Reflecting on the significance of the Aayushman card, Mr. Ansar stated, “I never thought that my treatment would be covered for free by the Aayushman card. Not a single penny was spent, and had it not been for this card, my life might have been at stake.” Mr. Ansar recounted his experience seeking treatment, stating that when he went to the hospital, the doctors immediately inquired about his Aayushman card. The medical professionals assured him that his treatment would not be delayed due to financial constraints, highlighting the efficiency and promptness with which the healthcare providers operate under the Aayushman Bharat scheme.
Dr. Mamtesh Gupta, one of the attending physicians, explained that the Aayushman card is a game-changer in situations where immediate medical attention is required. He emphasised that the entire treatment process, from admission to discharge, incurs no expenses for the patient, ensuring that financial constraints do not hinder the provision of quality healthcare.
During his treatment journey, Mr. Ansar praised the doctors for their swift actions and dedication. He underwent a pacemaker installation and other necessary procedures, all covered by the Aayushman Bharat scheme. Importantly, Mr. Ansar emphasised that not a single rupee was spent during his medical care, underscoring the financial relief that the Aayushman card provides to individuals in dire health situations.
Expressing his profound gratitude, Mr. Ansar thanked Prime Minister Modi and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for introducing and implementing the Aayushman Bharat scheme. He acknowledged the scheme as a lifeline that saved not only his life but the lives of many others who might not have had access to immediate and quality care.