Rajat Agarwal, Deputy Director, IT, Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB – PMJAY), National Health Authority (NHA), explains the role of technology in the government’s flagship scheme.
To be able to push the government’s flagship Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB – PMJAY) programme, user-friendly technology and boots of facilitator on the ground is crucial, said Rajat Agarwal, Deputy Director, IT, AB – PMJAY, National Health Authority (NHA). He was speaking at the second edition of Elets Digital Health Conclave with a theme ‘Reimagining Healthcare with Technology’. Launched by the Prime Minister in 2018, AB – PMJAY is the largest public health insurance programme in the world covering around 50 crore citizens of the country.
“We have to reach the last mile or the last person who may not be tech-savvy in terms of using our digital platforms. Firstly, We have to ensure that there are sufficient provisions in our platform that facilitate these beneficiaries with minimum IT interface and easy data input provisions or automatic fetching from the databases. Secondly, we have to ensure training of mediators or persons who facilitate enrollment of beneficiaries. Training such facilitators is a significant part of Ayushman Bharat; we call them Arogya Mitras or PMAMs who facilitate the enrollment of the beneficiary at the ground level. Their presence ensures that we have someone at the village level and at the grassroots level who is able to use our digital platform in order to enrol the beneficiaries. To create massive databases, you know who is there for these beneficiaries to prevent any duplication of the data, etc,” Agarwal explained in a panel discussion on ‘Ayushman Bharat: Opportunities, Scope & Challenges’ joined by Dr Ajai Agarwal, Director, Health Policy & Quality Assurance, National Health Authority, Dr OP Yadava, CEO, National Heart Institute, and Ravishankar M Sankeshwar, Chief Information Officer / Administrator IT, KLES Dr Prabhakar Kore Hospital MRC.”
Speaking about other operational intricacies, he said, “The other part of it is obviously in terms of training and in terms of organising the training with the various states from time to time, as well as in terms of addressing any issues which the state communicates to us at different points of time. So, these issues do not merely are in terms of the functional changes, but there are definitely a lot of changes which we have to bring from time to time for the ease of use of our platform or convenience factor which they see or they desire in the technology platform. We take those suggestions into account and keep on modifying and improving our platform from time to time.”