All you Need to Know about Ayushman Bharat Diwas & Why it is Celebrated?

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Every year our country celebrates Ayushman Bharat Diwas on 30th April. The initiative aims at promoting affordable healthcare programs and facilities to those from socio-economically vulnerable backgrounds. It aims at providing affordable medical facilities to people living in the remote parts of the country and rural areas. Prime Minister Narendra Modi rolled out this scheme on 23rd September 2018 to cover 50 crore citizens in India.

With the entire country reeling under the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the initiative has gained much impetus. A lot of poor and middle-class people across the country are being denied the opportunity of getting free treatment for COVID. This is the best time to implement the scheme so that people from remote areas benefit through cashless treatment in public and private hospitals.

Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY)

The Ayushman Bharat Yojana is also referred to as the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana. The initiative has twin missions – to promote health and wellness of the rural population and offer insurance benefits to them. Under this, the National Health Protection Scheme is also covered. The primary motive is to help more than 10 crore vulnerable and poor families with a health cover of up to Rs. 5 lakh per year. The scheme includes both secondary as well as tertiary hospitalisation cover as well as pre- and post-hospitalisation expenses.

In association with the Ayushman Bharat scheme, the government also launched an initiative called Ayushman Mitra. Under this, 10 lakh Indians will be given jobs during the five years. The main idea behind this is to employ the unemployed youth of our country. Those employed under the PMJAY scheme will get a salary of Rs. 15,000 per month. The implementation of the scheme will lead to more opportunities for nurses, doctors, staff and other technicians.

PMJAY in Rural Areas

Like any other scheme, this too has certain pre-conditions for people in the rural areas to be eligible for the health cover benefits. Firstly, most rural households do not have access to any kind of insurance, leave alone health insurance. Additionally, most of these families access healthcare facilities by borrowing money or taking loans. With the introduction of the PMJAY scheme, families in rural areas can prevent themselves from falling in the debt trap and get yearly assistance from the government at the same time. The scheme is available to:

  • Scheduled caste and schedule tribe households
  • Families with no male member aged between 16-59 years
  • Beggars
  • Families with no individual aged between 15-59 years
  • Families that have at least one physically-challenged member
  • Tribal communities
  • Legally release bonded labourers
  • Families living in one-room makeshift houses with no walls or proper roof
  • Scavengers

PMJAY in Urban Areas

Besides rural areas, there are many households in urban areas too that do not have proper access to health insurance. Urban workers that come under the following categories can also benefit from the Ayushman Bharat scheme:

  • Mechanics, electricians and repair workers
  • Washerman/Chowkidar
  • Domestic help
  • Rag pickers
  • Sanitation workers, gardeners and sweepers
  • Tailors and handicraft workers
  • Construction workers, painters and security guards
  • Cobblers and hawkers
  • Drivers, helpers, conductors and rickshaw pullers
  • Shopkeepers, waiters, deliver executives and those working in small establishments

The following entities are not covered under the PMJAY Scheme:

  • Household member of any government employee
  • Motorised 2/3/4 wheeler/fishing boat owner
  • Mechanised 3 or 4-wheeler agricultural equipment owner
  • Kisan credit card holder
  • Any member of the family with income more than Rs. 10,000 per month
  • Paying income tax
  • Paying professional tax
  • Have a house with three or more rooms, a roof and pucca walls
  • Owns a refrigerator
  • Owns a landline phone
  • Owns over 2.5 acres of land
  • Owning at least 7.5 acres of land or more with at least one irrigation equipment

Salient features of AB-PMJAY

Ayushman Bharat Diwas is celebrated every year to generate awareness around this scheme. The government wants as many people as possible to leverage the benefits. Ever since it has been implemented, the progress has been impressive. Now that you know the eligibility criteria of the scheme, here are a few salient features that might come handy too:

  • It is an entitlement-based scheme. It covers poor and vulnerable families who are deprived and meet the occupational criteria as per the SECC (Socio-Economic Caste Census) database.
  • It offers cashless and paperless access to services for the beneficiary in both private and public hospitals across India. A beneficiary from one state can avail benefits from an empanelled hospital anywhere in the country.
  • Under the scheme, the girl child, women and senior citizens are prioritised.
  • There is no limit to family size or age of the members.
  • States are free to choose the modalities for implementation. It can be implemented directly through the Trust, an insurance company or follow a mixed model.
  • The scheme covers 1,350 medical packages including surgery, medical and day care treatments, diagnostics and cost of medicines.
  • A robust IT system has also been created for the same to ensure smooth implementation and real-time transaction data.

PMJAY & COVID

It’s been over a year since our country has been engulfed by coronavirus. Under the Ayushman Bharat scheme, eligible citizens can avail free of cost testing and treatment for COVID. It is available at all government designated testing centres and public hospitals. A free vaccine drive has also been extended to all public healthcare centres and hospitals empanelled under the PMJAY scheme. Close to 11,000 hospitals under the PMJAY are giving cashless vaccination doses. With the vaccine being available for the age group 18 to 44 years from 1st May 2021, more public as well as private hospitals are likely to come under the scheme.

To find a PM-JAY COVID vaccination hospital, visit https://pmjay.gov.in/covid-vaccination-hospitals.

With the entire country undergoing a healthcare crisis, the Ayushman Bharat Scheme is definitely a boon. As many people as possible should come forward and leverage the benefits especially if they are eligible. To check the eligibility of someone you know or works for you, visit https://pmjay.gov.in or call 1800-111-565.

 

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