Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday said the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) will be implemented with complete transparency in the state and the government will ensure through proper monitoring that benefits reach the actual beneficiaries. The PMJAY, billed as the world’s largest government healthcare scheme, was launched earlier on Sunday by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Ranchi. The ambitious scheme is popularly known as Modicare. It was launched simultaneously in Bihar. The launch was attended by Governor Lalji Tandon, Kumar and a host of Union and state ministers. “A new chapter is being added in the history of the world with such a mega scheme being launched simultaneously across the country,” Tandon said. This scheme will save the lives of the poor, he said, adding that this is the first time that the Center is taking care of those who have been neglected. The PMJAY aims to provide a coverage of ₹5 lakh per family annually, benefiting more than 10.74 crore poor families across the country. The Center will contribute 60 percent to the scheme, while the states will contribute the remaining 40 percent. Thanking the prime minister for the scheme, Kumar said, “It is not only a good health insurance scheme but will also economically strengthen those who had to spend a lot on treatment. The money which used to be spent on healthcare will now be saved and spent on other necessary items”.
He clarified that people will continue to avail the benefits of all other health initiatives being run by the state government such as the Mukhyamantri Chikitsa Sahayta Kosh scheme, under which people get financial help of up to ₹10 lakh for treatment outside the state. The state government has decided to roll out the PMJAY through its agencies as they have some experience of running the Mukhyamantri Chikitsa Sahayta Kosh scheme, he added. A total of 1.08 crore families would be covered under the scheme in Bihar, including around 1 crore in rural areas and 8.65 lakh in urban areas. Eligible people can avail the benefits in government hospitals and listed private hospitals and there is no cap on family size and age of the beneficiary. The scheme’s launch here was attended by Union ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad, Ashwini Kumar Choubey and Ram Kripal Yadav, deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, Assembly Speaker Vijay Kumar Choudhary, state health minister Mangal Pandey and a host of MLAs, MLCs and MPs. Prasad said it is a divine policy which will bring smiles on the faces of the poor people. Sushil Kumar Modi said the scheme would cover more people than those living the US, Canada and Mexico. – Business Standard