The cashless treatment facility provided by Ayushman Bharat-PMJAY scheme for poor and underserved families has substantially reduced their out-of-pocket expenditure as well as financial bankruptcy due to severe and prolonged illness, and expensive treatment, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Friday.
Mandaviya interacted virtually with beneficiaries of the scheme from different parts of the country as the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) completes four years of implementation, a statement by the health ministry said.
Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Bharati Pravin Pawar as well as Gujarat Health Minister Rushikesh Patel also attended the programme.
The Union health minister also shared the travails and pain of the beneficiaries and their families who narrated their experience of severe health crisis, and their inability of meeting the healthcare expenditure on their own, the statement said.
They also relived their joy on receiving financial support under AB-PMJAY which enabled them to seek quality tertiary treatment in PMJAY empanelled hospitals.
Mandaviya elaborated on the various features of the scheme and stated that Ayushman Bharat has strengthened the government’s mission to ensure Health for All. He further urged states which are still to onboard the scheme to join in this national mission of providing affordable healthcare aimed towards citizen welfare, the statement said.
With co-branding of the Ayushman Cards, we shall soon provide all eligible beneficiaries with the card,” he said.
So far, more than 19 crore AB-PMJAY cards have been created and more than 3.8 crore beneficiaries have availed of free treatment under the scheme.
Highlighting the salient features of the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM), the minister noted that ABHA Health ID will prove to be a game changer in the health sector.
Few beneficiaries narrated the ease of creating the health ID and benefits of storing their health records on one platform.
The health accounts are highly helpful in identifying, authenticating and easily accessing one’s health records without any hassle or charge, they informed, the statement said.
Mandaviya appreciated the beneficiaries who have made their online accounts and stated that the youth are ambassadors of the government’s schemes and can help senior citizens in accessing benefits of such digital interventions.