New Delhi:

Terming Government's flagship scheme Ayushman Bharat a 'game changer' in healthcare, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Tuesday said, as many as 6.85 lakh poor patients have been provided free hospital treatment in the first 100 days of the launch of the programme. 

He further said, on an average 5,000 claims are being settled every day since itsroll out on September 23, 2018. 


"Once awareness of the scheme increases, It is anticipated that in the next few years, almost 1 crore plus families will benefit each year," Jaitley said in a Facebook post titled '100 days of Ayushman Bharat'. 


The total number of hospitals covered by this scheme, currently numbering 16,0000 including both Government and private hospitals, is increasing steadily. More than 50 per cent of the implementing hospitals are in the private sector. 


Jaitley said in the first 100 days, 6.85 lakh patients have been provided hospital treatment and 5.1 lakh claims have availed of the scheme, for which payment has been released 


Prime Minister Narendra Modi in September launched the Ayushman Bharat– Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana which aims to provide a coverage of Rs 5 lakh per family annually, benefiting more than 10.74 crore poor families or over 50 crore people for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation through a network of empanelled health care providers. 


Jaitley said this scheme is a "game changer" in healthcare and will cover 40 per cent of country's population which cannot afford to pay their medical bills. 


"Many people from the weaker sections avoided hospital treatment in order to avoid the burden of an unbearable payment. Today 40 per cent of India's poorest are assured of a treatment in a hospital at the cost of public expenditure," he said. 

He said although government employees, armed forces personnel and some corporate employees have healthcare support facilities,but 62.58 per cent of the Indian population has to pay their healthcare bills themselves and most find it unaffordable. 

He said the launch and implementation of the scheme, which is cashless and paperless, has been relatively problem free