Centre urges Odisha, 3 other States to join Ayushman Bharat

New Delhi: Requesting the chief ministers of Odisha, Delhi, Telangana and West Bengal to implement the Centre’s health insurance scheme, Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY), Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Wednesday wrote letters to the CMs saying that the ultimate beneficiary of this collaboration will be poor and vulnerable people of the country.

Assuring full support and cooperation to the states in aligning their own schemes with Ayushman Bharat, Vardhan, in his letter, said, “It is important that the benefits of a visionary scheme like Ayushman Bharat should reach all the deprived and vulnerable people in the country.

“I will make all efforts to convince the remaining states and the UT to bring the benefits of the scheme to their people and ensure that no eligible person is deprived of these benefits,” Vardhan wrote in his letter.

He said it was due to the transparent processes, ease of access and benefits to a large section of the poor population that 32 states and UTs had accepted the scheme, which was running successfully and providing financial protection to crores of people.

Urging the states to join the scheme, the minister said they would gain in terms of resources, national portability, state-of-the-art technological platforms, implementation systems and world-class analytics systems at no additional cost.

They would also benefit from a well-proven fraud monitoring-and-control system and the exchange of key learnings and best practices of other states towards equitable healthcare, he added.

The Union Minister made it clear that financial resources would be made available to the states with adequate flexibility in the spirit of cooperative federalism.

Earlier on Tuesday, a meeting on seamless convergence of both PMJAY and State-implemented Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (BSKY) was held between a central team led by Ayushman Bharat CEO and delegates of the Odisha government represented by the Health Minister, Chief Secretary, Health Secretary and other officials.

The AB-PMJAY scheme aims to provide a coverage of Rs 5 lakh per family annually, benefitting more than 10.74 crore poor families for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation through a network of empanelled healthcare providers.

(With agency inputs)