Ayushman Bharat scheme, one of the most ambitious healthcare programmes of the Government, will be launched on September 25, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced Wednesday, on the occasion of Independence Day.
While addressing the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort, the Prime Minister said the healthcare scheme will be launched on the birth anniversary of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay.
“The healthcare initiatives of the government will have a positive impact on 50 crore Indians,” the Prime Minister said.
“It is essential to ensure that we free the poor of India from the clutches of poverty due to which they cannot afford healthcare,” he said.
Under the ambitious Ayushman Bharat-National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM), dubbed as Modicare, the Government promises coverage of Rs 5 lakh per family annually. The scheme will benefit more than 10 crore poor families.
The healthcare insurance scheme aims to target poor, deprived rural families and identified occupational category of urban workers’ families, 8.03 crore in rural and 2.33 crore in urban areas, as per the latest Socio Economic Caste Census (SECC) data.
Asserting that technology will play a crucial role in the implementation of the programme, he said in four to six weeks, testing of these technology tools under the scheme will start.
He said the Swachh Bharat Mission will enable lakhs of children in leading healthier lives.
Meanwhile, industry bodies have welcomed the move. Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) termed the announcement a milestone for the nation.
Rakesh Bharti Mittal, president of CII, said, “With access to quality healthcare for 500 million people, the country will be able to make huge progress as people will feel secure and confident about their lives. This is really the need of the hour.”
Dr Prathap C. Reddy, Founder, Chairman, Apollo Hospitals Group, said, As the first step towards Universal Health Coverage, this is a pivotal moment in the country’s healthcare journey that will require the entire healthcare ecosystem, public and private, to work with a collective sense of purpose and synchrony.
It is heartening to see the rapid progress made in a short time since the scheme was announced, and will be welcome relief to millions of poor patients when it is launched next month,” he further said.