JP Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare exchanged the MoU with state health ministers of 20 states marking their commitment toward the launch of the Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM). The initiative will change the landscape of healthcare in the country. JP Nadda emphasized that the success of the scheme hinges upon the active participation of the states. States need to own the scheme while the center will design the policy framework with all possible flexibility and support.
AB-NHPM will protect around 50 crore people (from about 10 crore families). It will be cashless and paperless access to services up to `5 lakhs per year and will be available for the beneficiary families at the point of service in both public and private empanelled hospitals across India. The beneficiaries under the scheme can avail services anywhere in India and it is expected to bring a visible relief to the target families by mitigating the financial risk arising out of catastrophic health episodes.
AB-NHPM will protect the people and at the same time health and wellness centers (HWCs) will deliver comprehensive primary healthcare. The HWC would provide preventive, promotive, and curative care for non-communicable diseases, dental, mental, geriatric care, palliative care, etc.
The government has initiated universal screening of common NCDs such as diabetes, hypertension, and common cancers along with tuberculosis and leprosy, which will eventually help in reducing the disease burden of the country. AB-NHPM will have a major impact on reduction of out-of-pocket (OOP) expenditure. NHPM is a move toward comprehensive model of health services delivery, from a sectoral, fragmented, and segmented approach and is a big step to improve secondary and tertiary hospitalization and healthcare facilities.
20 states have so far signed the MoU and it is likely to reach upto 25 states by the end of June. A web portal for initiating the empanelment of hospitals under the mission is also launched. This marks the commencement of the implementation of AB-NHPM and takes the mission closer to launch.