Millennium Post

Centre invites Delhi to join Ayushman Bharat scheme

NEW DELHI: The Centre Friday 'invited' the Delhi government to join its Ayushman Bharat scheme to help the poor get benefits of the health protection programme. Responding to supplementaries in the Lok Sabha during the Question Hour, Minister of State for Health Ashwini Chaubey said 17 hospitals in Delhi — 12 in the private sector and five government run — are empanelled in the scheme. "People from outside are getting treatment in Delhi. But people in Delhi are not able to avail the benefits," said the minister.

Manoj Tiwari, who is also Delhi BJP chief, raised the issue alleging that while the Delhi government has not joined the scheme, its Mohalla Clinics have failed to deliver due to corruption. He asked the minister whether the Centre can intervene. Chaubey said, so far 33 states have signed agreements to be part of the scheme.

In the last week, calling the Centre's healthcare plan Ayushman Bharat Yojana a "white elephant", Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Wednesday said the crisis brought about by Bihar's Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) has raised questions on the level of preparedness and the effectiveness of health schemes being run by the Central government. The Delhi government has not yet given its approval for being part of the health insurance scheme which aims to provide a coverage of Rs 5 lakh per family annually and benefit more than 10 crore poor families across India.

Under the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojna (AB-PMJAY), the government aims to provide health protection cover to 50 crore poor people. So far, about 26 lakh poor patients have benefited from the scheme by availing treatment in hospitals. At a recent meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had said that he would examine the possibility of integrating Ayushman Bharat programme with the Delhi governments health scheme. "Ayushman Bharat was briefly discussed. Informed Honble PM that Delhi Govts Delhi Health scheme is much bigger and wider in scope. However, assured him to examine if Ayushman Bharat scheme cud also be integrated into our scheme (sic), the Delhi CM said in a series of tweets after meeting Modi.

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