New Delhi:

The governing board of National Health Authority (NHA) on Thursday approved the proposal for integration of certain healthcare schemes of Central Ministries and Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) with Ayushman Bharat- Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY).

In an official statement by NHA, it said that the proposal will benefit government employees (including government and contractual employees), Central Armed Police Force personnel and other beneficiary groups such as building and construction workers, manual scavengers and road accident victims.

The governing board also gave a go-ahead to conduct insurance pilots for covering the missing middle/non-poor population (comprising varied sections of non-poor population – informal sector workers, self-employed, professionals, employees in Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) etc) that is spread across occupations, geography and income strata, utilizing the PM-JAY framework.

Presiding over the meeting as the Governing Board Chairman, Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, said, "Such a synergy between both the Central health Schemes and Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY would support in the promotion of supply side development and enhance demand creation for healthcare services. Further, inter-operability between both schemes would be highly beneficial for patients who are situated in geographical areas with limited healthcare facilities and will now be able to access these, especially through the portability feature of PM-JAY."

He added, "In this, I ensure full support to all Ministries in this initiative towards convergence and building of a common, national health ecosystem."
Dr Indu Bhushan, CEO, National Health Authority, AB PM-JAY, said, "NHA has already developed advanced state-of-the-art IT platforms that will be leveraged to integrate the Central health schemes with AB PM-JAY and enable seamless delivery of health services. This will ensure ease of implementation of schemes and leverage the potential of integrated data systems. In addition, NHA has built the capacity to administer cashless health insurance services in over 23,000 hospitals across the country (including public and private hospitals in rural and urban areas)."

When implemented, the proposals will help integrate existing health schemes run by central Ministries and departments with AB-PMJAY, said the statement.
The governing body also discussed was the impact of COVID-19 on AB-PMJAY and how to resolve the challenges that arose out of the pandemic in healthcare delivery, the performance of empanelled private healthcare providers in different States on COVID-19, it said.

So far, under AB-PMJAY about 1.16 crore people have received hospital admission to get health services and atleast 77,000 people have got their covid test done.
AB-PMJAY is the flagship scheme of the Central government that provides a cover of up to Rs 5 lakh per family per year, for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization to over 10.74 crore poor and vulnerable families (about 53 crore beneficiaries).