AYUSH Ministry Proposes Ayushman Bharat Additions

Ayushman Bharat has recently celebrated the first anniversary since its launch. While controversial in some states, the scheme has drawn praise both at home and abroad and allowed medical services to be availed by tens of lakhs of Indians across the country. The AYUSH (Ayurvedic, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy) Ministry has proposed the inclusion of additional packages under the scheme that would involve the addition of the first non-allopathic treatments to the list of available services. Such a move may prove controversial, as funds could begin to be allocated to services which are of dubious scientific backing.

Officially known as the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY), Ayushman Bharat offers health insurance coverage of Rs 5 lakh per family per year to economically vulnerable families — covering roughly fifty crore Indians. Over the course of its first year, the programme has dispensed hospital treatments worth Rs 7,500 crore to beneficiaries, with the number of treatments numbering at roughly 46.4 lakh. Families have reportedly reaped savings of more than Rs 12,000 crore due to decreased need for out-of-pocket spending on healthcare. – Health Issues India

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