NEW DELHI: The Centre’s big-ticket national health protection scheme, Ayushman Bharat, will have a comparatively modest rollout — in less than 80 of the total 720 districts in India — with Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicating it to the nation this Independence Day. Packaged as the biggest government health insurance scheme in the world that aims to provide cashless hospitalisation with coverage of up to Rs 5 lakh to about 50 crore people, it will be launched in 11 states and Union Territories in the first phase. The states that are on board are Chhattisgarh, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Chandigarh, Daman and Diu, Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.
About 100 hospitals, most of them in the government sector, will first start offering the services for surgeries and other medical interventions requiring hospitalisation. In all, about 1,000 medical conditions have been listed for the scheme but not all hospitals will offer all of them.“Starting August 15, the programme is being rolled out rather than being launched nationwide and therefore it’s being announced only in districts which are prepared for the pilot phase,” Indu Bhushan, CEO of the scheme told TNIE.
“The PM, in his Independence Day speech, will present all the features of the scheme. People in about 70-80 districts spread across 11 states can avail the services,” Bhushan said. Other officials in the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, however, conceded the programme is being soft-launched because of the lack of preparedness on the part of the states and also because eight states are yet to sign the MoU with the Centre for implementing the scheme.“Even states that are on board have issues with empanelment of hospitals, IT preparedness, choosing the right insurance model and identification of beneficiaries,” a senior official said.
Telangana, Odisha, Delhi may opt out
Talks on with Maharashtra, Kerala, TN, Karnataka, Punjab. Delhi, Telangana and Odisha are unlikely to join for now due to political reasons
Who all will get to avail the scheme
Beneficiaries of the scheme will be based on entitlement and their names have been finalised through the socio-economic caste census