Amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed 7 lives in India with 415 confirmed cases so far, the Delhi finance minister Manish Sisodia announced in his 2020-21 budget speech on the floor of the legislative assembly on Monday that the national capital will implement Centre’s flagship scheme, ‘Ayushman Bharat’ from the upcoming financial year.
Manish Sisodia while presenting the Rs 65,000-crore budget for 2020-21 in the Assembly, announced that the Delhi Government is willing to implement the scheme through which the Modi Government aims to provide financial protection (Swasthya Suraksha) to 10.74 crores poor, deprived rural families.
Delhi Government to implement Ayushman Bharat Yojana in Delhi, State Finance Minister Manish Sisodia announces in assembly pic.twitter.com/SAC9HPGv92— ANI (@ANI) March 23, 2020
This scheme becomes particularly helpful for the poor people amidst the coronavirus outbreak in the nation, as it would cater to their medical needs. The AAP government has been regularly criticised for not allowing the Ayushman Bharat Yojana to be implemented in Delhi.
During the election campaign for Delhi polls 2020, PM Narendra Modi had slammed Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal for not allowing the implementation of the flagship scheme in the national capital.
Last year, the AAP government was criticised after it’s health minister had said that the Delhi government will not allow Ayushman Bharat Yojana to be implemented. Instead, the government will give ‘free healthcare for all’. Earlier, the Delhi Government had put the scheme in jeopardy because it wanted to add the party name in the scheme.
Through Ayushman Bharat, the Modi Government aims to provide financial protection (Swasthya Suraksha) to 10.74 crores poor, deprived rural families and identified occupational categories of urban workers’ families (approx. 50 crore beneficiaries). The number of beneficiaries is almost equal to the population of Canada, Mexico and the US taken together.
The pace of implementation by the Modi Government has been particularly impressive as nearly one-fifth of beneficiary families (2.05 crore), as on March 11, 2019, had already been given e-cards under the scheme, which offers a benefit cover of Rs. 5,00,000 per family per year. It covers medical and hospitalization expenses for almost all secondary care and most of the tertiary care procedures.
The Ayushman Bharat scheme as conceptualized by the Modi Government is so overarching that it has defined 1,350 medical packages covering surgery, medical and daycare treatments including medicines, diagnostics and transport. Furthermore, to ensure that nobody is left out (especially the girl child, women, children and elderly), there is no cap on family size and age in the Mission. Keeping in line with the Prime Minister’s vision of Digital India within the healthcare sector, the scheme is cashless & paperless at the 14,708 public hospitals and empanelled private hospitals. The number of hospitals is widely expected to touch over one lakh within the next few months. When fully implemented by 2022, it will become the world’s largest government-funded health protection mission.