Harsh Vardhan takes charge, rides on cycle

New Delhi: Union Minister Harsh Vardhan on Monday took charge of the Health Ministry, a portfolio he was suddenly divested of in November 2014 after being allocated the department earlier that year in May.

Harsh Vardhan, an ENT doctor by profession who reached his office at Nirman Bhavan on a cycle, said he will write to the Chief Ministers of the five states where the Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) scheme has not been implemented so far.

“Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha and Delhi have not implemented the scheme under which Rs 5 lakh annual medical cover is provided to each family belonging to vulnerable sections for treatment,” he told the media here.

“So far 27 lakh people have availed the benefits under the scheme. The Ministry will work extensively so that more and more eligible persons get the benefits under the scheme,” he said.

The Minister said the government has also set a target of establishing 1.5 lakh health and wellness centres by 2022 adding that so far around 17,000 such centres have come up.