NEW DELHI: Testing and treatment for COVID-19 will be free of cost for Ayushman Bharat beneficiaries at private laboratories and empanelled hospitals, the National Health Authority (NHA) said on Saturday.
The NHA, which implements the national health insurance scheme, said this will strengthen the country's response to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
"Testing and treatment of COVID-19 is already available for free in public facilities. Now, more than 50 crore citizens, eligible under the health assurance scheme will be able to avail free testing through private labs and treatment for COVID-19 in empanelled hospitals," it said in a statement.
Hospitals empanelled under the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) can use their authorised testing facilities or tie up with an authorised testing facility, the NHA said.
The COVID-19 tests will be carried out as per protocols of the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) and by private labs approved or registered by it, the authority said.
Treatment of COVID-19 by private hospitals will be covered under the AB-PMJAY, it said.