Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan has announced that more than ten crore e-cards have been issued to beneficiaries enabling them to benefit from the scheme and that, as of now, 47 lakh people have availed the benefits of the scheme. The news comes as revisions are made to the treatment packages made available under the scheme, with 500 packages removed and 250 new packages added.
“I am happy to announce that in a short period of time, under the Ayushman Bharat scheme, more than 21,000 health and wellness centres have become operational and about 47 lakh people have availed of treatments under its Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) pillar,” Vardhan said at an event in Delhi. He touted the involvement of state and union territory governments, describing their involvement as “a demonstration of our commitment to the highest ideals of cooperative federalism.” Delhi, Odisha, and Telangana are among the states which have yet to participate in Ayushman Bharat.
Vardhan also welcomed private sector participation in the PMJAY, noting that 53 percent of 18,073 healthcare facilities empanelled to deliver benefits under the initiative belong to the private sector. These facilities have been responsible for administering 62 percent of treatments, he noted.
Ayushman Bharat Diwas will be celebrated on September 23rd to commemorate the one-year anniversary, with activities in the preceding weeks designed to raise awareness under the banner of Ayushman Bharatt Pakawara. Recent reports have indicated that low awareness is hampering the efficacy of the scheme in some enrolled states, making heightened awareness necessary if the Centre can realise its goal of expanding access to healthcare throughout the country.