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Developmental Issues

Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY) which completed an year on Monday has recorded 46.4 lakh hospital treatments worth ₹7,500 crore with 60% of the amount being spent on tertiary care.

According to figures released by PM-JAY, this has resulted in saving of over ₹12,000 crore to the beneficiary families. Currently, 32 States and Union Territories are implementing the scheme and more than 10 crore beneficiary cards have been issued.

Indu Bhushan, CEO, PM-JAY, said the aim of the scheme was high cost should not deter any person or family to avoid treatment.

“Our focus is to ensure that more and more vulnerable Indians are being made aware of their entitlements, so that they can avail of the hospitalisation benefits during their illness. PM-JAY aims to ensure improved healthcare delivery, through a combination of government hospitals and strategic purchasing of services from private hospitals, in health care deficit areas,” he added.

PM-JAY is the flagship scheme of the government with an aim to bring quality healthcare to around 50 crore poor and vulnerable Indians. The scheme gives annual healthcare benefits of up to ₹5 lakh for every entitled family.

Highlighting the participation by the private sector, Dr. Bhushan said the uptake of PM-JAY by private sector providers had been very encouraging. “We have many private hospitals empanelled under PM-JAY. We are working on getting the top corporate hospitals on board, so that beneficiaries have maximum choices.”

“More than 18,236 hospitals have been empanelled across India to ensure optimal accessibility to the eligible families. Out of the total hospitals empanelled, 53% are private, especially multi-specialty. There are 9 hospital admissions every minute across the hospitals in India. PM-JAY provides cashless and paperless access to services for the beneficiary at the point of service. Under PM-JAY, for the hospitals, vast majority [85%] of the claims have been paid within time,” said Dr. Bhushan.

A PM-JAY release noted that the website and call centre with toll-free helpline no. 14555 had significantly helped in guiding patients to seek healthcare as well as to send their feedback and grievances for timely redress. The multi-lingual call centre is providing round the clock support, answering 45 lakh calls. In today’s digital India, more than 1.5 crore people have used the mere.pmjay.gov.in website, to check their eligibility.

“The scheme will continue to focus on reducing catastrophic out-of-pocket health expenditure, improving access to quality health care and meeting the unmet need of the population for hospitalisation care,” noted Dr. Bhushan.

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