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BJP Pledges to Extend Ayushman Bharat Scheme Ahead of Lok Sabha Elections

Written by : Jayati Dubey

April 19, 2024

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The manifesto pledges to expand Ayushman Bharat Yojana to include senior citizens & transgender community, ensuring they receive free, quality healthcare.

In a significant move aimed at bolstering healthcare access across India, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has pledged to expand the Ayushman Bharat scheme.

PM Narendra Modi announced this initiative during the release of the BJP's manifesto for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The expansion entails the inclusion of all individuals from the transgender community and senior citizens aged 70 and above under the ambit of the Ayushman Bharat Yojana.

Prime Minister Modi emphasized the importance of addressing the healthcare concerns of older people, particularly regarding the affordability of treatment for various ailments.

The manifesto promises to extend the coverage of the Ayushman Bharat Yojana to senior citizens, thereby providing them with access to free and quality healthcare services.

Originally launched as the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) by the then Finance Minister Arun Jaitley during the FY19 Union Budget, the Ayushman Bharat scheme currently offers five Lakh cover to approximately 80 Cr people across India.

This extensive coverage encompasses economically vulnerable families from both rural and urban areas, facilitating access to essential healthcare services.

Comprehensive Coverage & Benefits

Under the Ayushman Bharat Yojana, beneficiaries can avail themselves of a wide range of healthcare services, including hospitalization costs, pre- and post-hospitalization expenses, medication, and over 1,929 medical procedures, which include major surgeries and follow-up treatments.

The scheme operates seamlessly at a vast network of public and private hospitals, ensuring paperless and cashless transactions for the convenience of beneficiaries.

The proposed expansion of the Ayushman Bharat scheme to include senior citizens aged 70 and above signifies a significant step towards enhancing healthcare access for this demographic.

Key Features of PMJAY

PMJAY offers comprehensive coverage, including daycare, pre-existing conditions from day one, and all associated costs during hospital stays. Moreover, transportation expenses for pre and post-hospitalization visits are reimbursed under the scheme.

With 150,000 health and wellness centers across India, PMJAY emphasizes primary healthcare services, ensuring holistic healthcare coverage.

PMJAY caters to nearly 40% of the Indian population, focusing on the most vulnerable sections. It provides nationwide accessibility to treatments across various specialties, including neurosurgery and cardiology.

The scheme covers costs associated with multiple surgeries, critical procedures, cancer treatments, diagnostic services, and surgical and medical implants, among others, ensuring comprehensive healthcare support for beneficiaries.

Eligibility Criteria & Registration Process

To be eligible for PMJAY, households must be listed in the Socio-Economic and Caste Census-2011 (SECC) and hold an active Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) card.

Rural households meeting specific criteria, such as landless families, Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe (SC/ST) households, and urban households engaged in informal employment, are also eligible for the scheme. Registration for Ayushman Bharat Yojana can be done online through the official website.

PMJAY covers 1,929 medical procedures, including critical illnesses such as heart and vascular surgeries, cancer treatments, complex surgeries, and other medical procedures.

This comprehensive coverage ensures that beneficiaries can access a wide spectrum of healthcare services, effectively addressing diverse healthcare needs.

By widening the scope of the Ayushman Bharat scheme, the government aims to ensure that every individual has access to quality healthcare services, thereby contributing to the overall well-being and development of the nation.


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