NEW DELHI: A recent government survey to assess the progress made under the flagship Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana has revealed that less than 50 per cent of the hospitals that have been empanelled for the scheme has been “active”.
The finding indicates a far lesser utilization of the programme than expected and also suggest that many beneficiaries might be denied treatment under the scheme.
So far around 18,236 hospitals — a little over half of which are in the private sector — have been empanelled under the scheme to ensure cashless secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation.
The data, shared during a closed-door meeting on the two-day session, Aarogya Manthan, organised by the National Health Authority — which has formed to implement the scheme — showed that only 46 per cent hospitals sought four or more pre-authorisation or admitted at least four patients in four weeks in September.
“We had done this survey just ahead of the special national conclave to assess how the hospitals are doing and the results are worrying,” a senior NHA official conceded.
“The low activity could be either due to technical issues or the hospitals denying treatment to needy patients. It needs to be evaluated further.” Also, the trend was similar for both public and private hospitals.
It was also shared, in one of the sessions during the special conclave — called to discuss the progress of PMJAY and the way forward — that the utilisation rate of the scheme so far has been just above 8 per lakh population per week as against the expected rate of 32 hospitalisations per lakh per week.
“This number also varies significantly across states. While there are far more hospitalisations in states like Kerala and Chhattisgarh, it’s way lower in Bihar,” another official privy to the meeting said.
A proprietor of a hospital in Kerala, who was in the capital to attend the event, said the beneficiaries being denied treatment could be due to many hospitals not taking enough interest in the scheme despite being empanelled.
Modi launches Ayushman Bharat-PMJAY app
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a new mobile application for Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana to facilitate the beneficiaries of the scheme in finding out details related to the scheme.
Speaking on the occasion, the PM said, “The first year of Ayushman Bharat has been about resolution, dedication and mutual learning. We are running the world’s largest health care scheme successfully in India due to our determination.”