BENGALURU: While Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the Centre’s flagship health scheme Ayushman Bharat-National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM) will be rolled out on September 25 that will provide Rs 5 lakh coverage to 50 crore BPL citizens, Karnataka is among the six states that is yet to come on board.
AB-NHPM CEO Indu Bhushan attributed it to the shuffle of bureaucratic roles in the new H D Kumaraswamy government such as those of the state health secretary that was causing a delay in signing the MoU. Health Minister Shivanand Patil had announced in a recent press conference that AB-NHPM will be co-branded with the state’s Arogya Karnataka and hinted at expanding the coverage to Rs 5 lakh from Rs 2 lakh, which is what the state is currently offering to 1.43 crore families, APL and BPL.
Shivanand Patil told The New Indian Express, “We are yet to reach a consensus on the rates of various procedures. They (AB-NHPM) have 1,350 packages, we have 1,516 procedures for which we provide treatment. We provide higher cost for some procedures while they provide higher cost for some. We are trying to negotiate a common cost. It is difficult to say if we will be on board by September 25.”
Indu Bhushan said, “There was a political vacuum in the state for a while owing to elections. This set them back a bit in comparison to other states. Karnataka has given an in-principle approval to AB-NHPM, but we are yet to finalise things with the new health secretary and are hopeful of having the state on board by September 25.”
Jawaid Akhtar, Principal Secretary, Department of Health and Family Welfare, said, “There is no delay in signing the MoU. We will do it shortly,meanwhile, Arogya Karnataka is already available for families in all government hospitals and some private hospitals to avail benefits under.”
AB-NHPM is providing coverage based on beneficiaries identified under the Socio-Economic Caste Census which is estimated to cover around 62 lakh families (2.4 crore people) in Karnataka. But according to the Food and Civil Supplies Department data there are 1.15 crore families identified as BPL.
“We can’t have one section of the BPL families getting Rs 5 lakh coverage and the remaining 53 lakh families getting Rs 2 lakh coverage. Now the challenge remains in extending a similar coverage for all BPL families,” said Dr Rathan Kelkar, Director, National Health Mission.
322 hospitals yet to join
Till now, 501 private hospitals have empanelled in Arogya Karnataka, 322 hospitals are yet to come on board. Other states which are yet to come on board include Punjab, Kerala, Maharashtra, Delhi, and Odisha
Ayushman Bharat scheme: Who are eligible
In rural areas
Families living in only one room with “kuchcha walls and kuchcha roof,” families with no adult members aged between 16 and 59, female-headed family with no adult male member in the 16-59 age group, families having at least one disabled member and no able-bodied adult member, SC/ST households, destitutes and some others.
In urban areas
Ragpickers, beggars, domestic worker, street vendor/cobbler/ hawker/ other service provider working on streets, Construction worker/ plumber/ mason/ labour/ painter/ welder/ security guard/ coolie and other head-load workers, sweeper/ sanitation worker / gardener, home-based worker/ artisan/ handicrafts worker / tailor, transport worker/ driver/ conductor/ helper to drivers and conductors/ cart puller/ rickshaw puller, shop worker/ assistant/ peon in small establishment/ helper/ delivery assistant / attendant/ waiter, electrician/ mechanic/ assembler/ repair worker, washer-man/ chowkidar