Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched Ayushman Bharat, touted as the world’s largest healthcare scheme, in Ranchi today.
The scheme, also called Modicare, aims to cover over 10 crore families (50 crore beneficiaries) and provide health cover up to Rs 5 lakh per family per year. Centre will provide 60 per cent of the fund required under the scheme and the remaining will come from the state governments.
"The Ayushman Bharat scheme will transform India into a medical hub in the future," the Prime Minister said during the launch.
"Those hospital which will provide benefits to the poor under the scheme, especially hospitals in rural areas, will receive rewards and advantages by the government. Our government is also making efforts in preventive healthcare like the swachch bharat scheme, toilet scheme, which will help prevent diseases and efforts are being taken to free India of malnutrition," Modi added.
The Center had started its outreach programme ahead of the launch. Orders were issued to the states earlier this month to start informing people visiting hospitals about the scheme to create awareness about what it offers.
The government had also started the pilot run of the scheme in Jharkhand . According to Dinesh Arora, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Ayushman Bharat, personalised beneficiary letters from the Prime Minister with family cards for the scheme were distributed to some people in Rathu block in Ranchi earlier this week. According to the Business Standard, the government had started the pilot run of the scheme in 1,033 hospitals across the state.
By some accounts, the scheme is the most ambitious healthcare project attempted in independent India. It has drawn appreciation from the World Health Organisation and other agencies working in the health sector.
The scheme will become operational from 25 September, the birth anniversary of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay, reports have said.
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