by Ashwin Mb
Universal Health Coverage has been a pipedream for Indian government. A group was constituted in July 2014 to prepare a comprehensive background paper for the roll out of the National Health Assurance Mission. The government announced Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yogana (AB-PMJAY) to realize this dream which included: firstly, establishing 1.5 lakh Health and Wellness centre across the country to provide comprehensive healthcare (this was part of National Health Policy), and secondly, under National Health Protection Scheme, providing coverage upto 5 lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary hospitalization.
The Prime Minister officially launched AB-PMJAY 23rd September 2018 which aims at targeting 10 crore poor and vulnerable families (approximately 50 crore beneficiaries). As of 4th February 2019, the number of hospitalization under PMJAY since its launch is 10,59,693. In the Union Budget 2019-20, the government has allocated 6400 crore rupees to AB-PMJAY as against 2400 crore allocated the previous year.
In 2018-19, 1200 crores were sanctioned for setting up of Health & Wellness Centres. However, no data could be found about how many of the 1.5 lakh health and Wellness centres have been established. Considering, the scheme was launched in 2018, very little progress would have been done on setting up of Health and Wellness Centres (if at all), and only 1 million people have benefited under health protection scheme, the performance is being classified as “Inadequate Progress”