Five states reject PM Modi's mega health scheme 'Ayushman Bharat'
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ambitious healthcare programme Ayushman Bharat– Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) was rejected by five states including Delhi.
This ambitious scheme was launched by Modi on Sunday which is said to be the world's largest government-funded healthcare insurance programme, expecting to benefit 50 crore people.
Modi claimed that the total number of beneficiaries from Ayushman Bharat is population of America, Canada and Mexico combined. He also said that organisations across the world will study Ayushman Bharat to study how the government funded this large-scale scheme.
But even after all the benefits of this large scale program many Indian states rejected to implement this scheme in their state. Telangana, Odisha, Delhi, Kerala and Punjab have said they will not implement the programme till their concerns are addressed since they have better health assurance schemes.
Taking a dig on Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik of ignoring a programme that is bound to help his state. He said, "Everyone is aware of the importance of the Ayushman Bharat scheme, but Naveen babu does not understand. The Odisha government should come forward and join the programme," addressing a gathering in the state ahead of the assembly and parliamentary polls.
Mr Patnaik also came out to clear PM's doubt saying his state's 'Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana' covers more people than Ayushman Bharat and provides Rs. 7 lakh to women as opposed to the central programme's Rs. 5 lakh. He suggested that Modi should focus his energies to curb the rising prices of fuel in the country instead of picking on a state that already has a good healthcare programme.
NITI Aayog member Dr Vinod Paul said that the scheme will be funded on a 60:40 ratio by the centre and state. The scheme will come into effect from September 25 on the birth anniversary of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh ideology Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay.
Kerala State Finance Minister Thomas Isaac recently raised questions on the 'feasibility' of the scheme, calling it a "big hoax".
Mr Isaac also questioned how the government would implement the scheme at such a large scale. "The subsidy ceiling for the current RSBY scheme of Rs. 30,000 benefit is Rs. 1,250. The subsidy for the Ayushman scheme, with benefits of Rs. 5 lakh, is Rs. 1,110. Is it possible to have such a jump in benefits for lower premium?" he baffled.
Telangana also rejected the scheme on the grounds that its 'Aarogyasri scheme' covers 70 percent of the state's population whereas Ayushman Bharat will only benefit 80 lakh people. According to a source, the state government also believes that the Prime Minister's photograph on the 'Ayushman Bharat' card will result in the ruling BJP getting undue publicity in the run-up to the parliamentary elections.
However, Delhi does not sponsor such insurance scheme but it expressed dissatisfaction with the Ayushman Bharat's proposed target of 6 lakh families which make just 3 percent of its 2-crore population. Punjab also withdrew from launching this scheme on similar reservations.