The Union Health Ministry has written a letter to all Central government hospitals to join the Prime Minister Jan Arogya Yojana Scheme – Ayushman Bharat. Hospitals in Delhi such as the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Lady Hardinge, Safdarjung Hospital and Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) are included in the scheme. RML has also started the training for its doctors and medical staff. Dr VK Tiwari, medical director of RML hospital, said, “We have started to work on the Ayushman Bharat scheme. Awareness programs are being created among the hospital staff and patients. As of now, patients have to pay minimal charges for advanced medical tests like MRI, CT scan, stent implant, bypass surgery and transplant operations.” “However, after the implementation of Ayushman Bharat scheme, patients will not have to pay a single penny from the pocket,” he said.
It is important to note that even though these giant government hospitals will implement the prime minister’s health scheme, residents of Delhi will not be able to take the healthcare benefits as Delhi government has not yet approved the scheme. Patients from other states can take advantage of the scheme. There is an ongoing tussle between the center and the Delhi government over renaming of the prime minister’s flagship scheme on health. The center has rejected the Delhi government’s request to change the name from Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojna (PMJAY) into Mukhya Mantri Aam Adami Swasthya Bima Yojana Ayushman Bharat. 60 percent of patients at AIIMS, RML, and Safdarjung Hospital come from other states such as Bihar, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand. However, the major chunk of patients is from the national capital. For instance, AIIMS itself sees 15,000 patients in its OPD every day out of which 40 percent of patients reside in Delhi. – India Today