Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said Tuesday as many as 300,000 poor people have benefited from Ayushman Bharat health scheme in the last one-and-a-half months.
Speaking at the function to release the book 'Making of New India: Transformation under Modi Government', Jaitley said that the NDA Government is both pro-business and pro-poor as the country needs greater resources to fund the poverty alleviation programmes.
"We are now close to about 300,000 people in the last month and a half you have already benefited from hospitalisation under Ayushman Bharat and these are people belonging to the 100 million poorest families in India," Jaitley said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in September launched the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana which aims to provide a coverage of Rs 500,000 per family annually, benefiting more than 107.4 million poor families for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation through a network of empanelled health care providers.
Around 66 per cent of the total beneficiaries have availed treatment in private hospitals under the Ayushman Bharat scheme with a majority of them being recorded in Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Chattishgarh, West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh respectively, an official said.
Dinesh Arora, deputy chief executive of the National Health Agency (NHA), the apex body implementing the scheme, said till November 26, of the total 3,65,394 beneficiaries who were admitted to hospitals for undergoing various surgeries and procedures, 204,000 have been treated in private hospitals.
"The rest 34 per cent availed treatment under the scheme at public hospitals," Arora said.
"So far, the maximum benefits under the scheme have been availed by people from Gujarat, followed by Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh," Arora said.
He informed that the NHA has paid an amount of Rs 3.12 billion for the claims to the hospitals.
The Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (previously Ayushman Bharat), touted as the world's largest health insurance programme, was launched pan-India by the prime minister from Jharkhand on September 23.
The Health Ministry has said the scheme will help in reducing expenditure on hospitalisations and help mitigate the financial risk arising out of catastrophic health episodes.
Under the scheme, the government aims to provide a coverage of Rs 500,000 per family annually, benefiting more than 107.4 million poor families for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation through a network of the Empanelled Health Care Providers (EHCP).
There is no cap on family size and age in the scheme, ensuring that nobody is left out.
Over 10,000 hospitals have been empanelled for the scheme, and 33 states and Union Territories have signed memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with the Centre for implementing the programme. Punjab, Delhi and Telangana are yet to join the scheme