Eight states and four Union Territories have signed MoUs with the Union Health Ministry to implement the government’s ambitious national health protection mission, which aims to provide a cover of ₹500,000 per family annually to 100 million vulnerable families, an official said. Four states – Delhi, Odisha, Punjab, and West Bengal – have not yet given any positive response towards adopting the program, the health ministry official said. Discussions with these states are on, he added. The eight states which signed the MoUs to implement the Ayushman Bharat-National Health Protection Mission include Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand.
The Union Territory of Chandigarh is among the four UTs. Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Tamil Nadu are among those that will sign the agreement soon, the official said. Prime Minister Modi is expected to roll out the program on August 15. Through the MoUs, the states and UTs formally committed to implement the health program. The MoU outlines the role of central and state governments/UT administrations in implementing the scheme. Regional workshops are being planned across India to sign MoU with other states. Union Health Minister JP Nadda had said the initiative would eventually become the world’s largest healthcare program because of India’s second largest population. The scheme will provide a coverage of ₹500,000 per family to 100 million poor and vulnerable families annually.
It will target poor rural families and identified occupational categories of urban workers’ families – 80.3 million in rural and 23.3 million in urban areas, according to the latest Socio-Economic and Caste Census data. It will provide cashless and paperless access to services up to ₹500,000 per year and will be available for the beneficiary families at the point of service in public and private empaneled hospitals across India. The beneficiaries under the scheme can avail the services anywhere in India and it is expected to bring a visible relief to the target families by mitigating the financial risk from catastrophic health episodes. – Business Standard