“Ayushman Bharat is the most important Government welfare scheme underway in India today, as it helps the poor access the best treatment, same as the rich, which was not possible earlier.” This was stated by Prof. SP Singh Baghel, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, at the inaugural session of Arogya Manthan, being held to celebrate five years of Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB PM-JAY) and two years of Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM).
The inaugural event was attended by Shri Dhan Singh Rawat, Minister for Health, Uttarakhand, Dr V K Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, Shri Sudhansh Pant, Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Dr Rajiv Bahl, Director General, Indian Council of Medical Research, and Dr Rajesh S. Gokhale, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology. The two-day event (25th and 26th September 2023) at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi will be filled with insightful discussions and deliberations on challenges, trends and best practices related to the two schemes.
Awards were given out to states for effective implementation of PM-JAY and ABDM under various categories like gender equity service delivery, efficient grievance redressal, highest number of treatments etc. In terms of highest number of treatments, the awards were won by Kerala, Meghalaya, and Puducherry in the category of large state, small state, and Union Territory respectively. In Gender Equity in Service Delivery, the awards were won by Karnataka, Meghalaya, and Jammu and Kashmir in the category of large state, small state, and Union Territory respectively. The award for the facility that generated most number of ABHA Scan and Share tokens went to AIIMS, Delhi. Congratulating the winners, Prof. Baghel said that winners are people of passion, and these victories are reflective of their effort.
Highlighting the benefits accruing to the most vulnerable and poorest communities of the country, Prof. Baghel urged Delhi, Odisha and West Bengal to join AB-PMJAY scheme.
In a video message. Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar stated, “Both these schemes have been essential to build the foundation for a strong nation. PMJAY provides assurance of Rs. 5 lakh per year per family, ensuring that quality healthcare is made accessible to all, without creating any financial burden on anyone.” Dr Pawar further said that under PM-JAY around 5.59 crore hospitals admission have been undertaken. “Today, around 27,343 hospitals have been empanelled under Ayushman Bharat, providing both cashless, and portable treatment facilities.”
On ABDM, the Minister said, “ABDM has been functioning on a mission mode, to help build a digital health ecosystem that supports universal health coverage, with all stakeholders together on a digital platform. Today more than 45 crore ABHA IDs have been created, 2,19,546 Health Facilities have been registered, and around 2,28,794 Healthcare Professionals have been on boarded under ABDM, which shows that health services are being saturated, including by use of digital tools.” She concluded her address by saying, “Our goal is to ensure that all beneficiaries have access to accessible affordable and quality healthcare with use of Ayushman Cards, and we must continue to work together to create a healthier nation for our citizens.”
Dr V K Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog said, “Arogya Manthan celebrates the journey of these two transformative schemes. The two-day event will give us learnings to make these schemes more effective, more vibrant, and help highlight pathways for improvement.” Dr Paul further said that we should ensure that healthcare policies should be mindful of the timelines under Sustainable Development Goals, encourage private sector participation, and endeavour to make the most vulnerable sections of society healthier and stronger.
Dr Dhan Singh Rawat, Uttarakhand Health Minister, said “The biggest success of PM-JAY has been that it ensures that the poor have access to quality healthcare, with guaranteed assurance of up to Rs. 5 lakh per family.”
Sudhansh Pant, Union Health Secretary said, “Around 60% of the amount has been used for tertiary care hospitalization, which had been one of the aims of PM-JAY when it was launched.” He added that 177 Ayushman PMJAY cards are being made per minute, with 30 hospital admissions per minute. He stated that 48% of hospitalisations are women beneficiaries, whereas 8 hospitals are being empanelled per day, on an average.
National Health Authority Annual report and Best Practices and Innovations 2022-23 from different states and UTs for PM-JAY and ABDM were also launched at the event.
The inaugural event was attended by Dr M Srinivas, Director, AIIMS, senior officials of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, including Dr Basant Garg, Additional CEO, National Health Authority (NHA), and GU Ahmed, Financial Advisor, NHA, as well as representatives from all states and UTs.