Two years of Ayushman Bharat: 23,300 hospitals empanelled, 1.26 crore treatments offered

In two years, Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana has provided more than 1.26 crore treatments benefitting crores of Indians

New Delhi: Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan inaugurated Arogya Manthan 2.0, a 4-day international conference and workshop organized by the National Health Authority (NHA) to mark the completion of the two years of Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB PM-JAY). Launched on 23rd September 2018 from Ranchi by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, PM-JAY has provided 1.26 crore cashless secondary and tertiary level treatments to citizens.
Currently being implemented in 32 States and Union Territories, PM-JAY has enabled in-patient healthcare services with an authorized amount of over Rs.16,000 crore. More than 23,300 hospitals have empanelled under the scheme. Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, and Rajasthan have emerged as the top-performing states providing the highest number of treatments.
Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, which provides health insurance cover of Rs. 5,00,000 to more than 53 crore poor and vulnerable citizens, achieved a landmark of 1 crore (10 million) hospitalizations in less than 20 months in May this year.
The virtual inaugural session was presided over by Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan, in the august presence of Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare, Dr. Indu Bhushan, CEO, NHA, Dr. Praveen Gedam, Additional CEO, NHA and Dr. Vipul Aggarwal, Deputy CEO, NHA. Representatives from the States, Development Partners, State Health Authorities, private hospitals, health insurance companies and the media were also present for Arogya Manthan.
Delivering the keynote address on the occasion, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare said, “Healthcare in today’s time must be looked at through multiple considerations. Technology must be leveraged well to meet citizens’ healthcare needs. Nowhere is it better demonstrated than Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY which has made technology its backbone to drive access to timely and affordable healthcare through 1.26 crore treatments worth Rs.15500 crore through its fast expanding network of over 23,000 public and private empanelled hospitals. I extend heartiest congratulations to all the 32 State and UT Governments for their committed partnership and diligence and to my team at the National Health Authority for ensuring the scheme’s success in reaching out to the poorest and most vulnerable citizens in the country in less than two years since its launch. Healthcare is a basic human right. PMJAY has given the entire country confidence that health is available to everyone, even if they do not have a single penny, all they need is an E-card to avail treatment.”
“In the last 2 years, whenever I got an opportunity to go outside India and be a part of any  forum ,I found that every country would look up to India and give example of Ayushman Bharat scheme as a  successful implementation of healthcare initiative. In a country like India, with population of 1.3 billion people and around 10-12 crore families, PM Modi not only envisioned a scheme like Ayushman Bharat but also made it successful with the help of NHA. There have been more than 1 crore successful treatments in over 23,000 public and private hospitals where there are special volunteers to help anyone, irrespective of their status, to get easy access to treatment by showing the digital ID”, Dr. Vardhan said.
Highlighting the significance and immediate need to build the necessary network and infrastructure for universal health coverage, Dr. Vardhan said, “In the words of our Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, this year has taught us that the need of the hour is to make ourselves and our country Aatmanirbhar. The need is not only to model and adapt technologies of the future to achieve our development goals, but also to build our own capabilities and those of other stakeholders through impactful partnerships, collaborations and networks. Today, I had the opportunity to present the awards to the winners of the Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY Startup Grand Challenge and launch the Market Access Program of NHA. I have been told that the Grand Challenge got a tremendous response from startups all over the country, some of who demonstrated very high potential to support the implementation of PM-JAY along 7 implementation challenges such as beneficiary empowerment, increasing quality of care, minimizing fraud and abuse control, and hence, help transform healthcare delivery to the poorest citizens. I wish NHA all the success in further supporting these startups scale-up and bring in innovation in the health sector. It is effort of Dr Indu Bhushan and his team at NHA who have worked tirelessly to realise the dreams of several beneficiaries who could not afford timely medical treatments. The success of how NHA has managed & established the Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY Scheme is highly commendable. It made it a success across country and has given us the confidence to give them the responsibility of the next big mission, the National Digital Health Mission.
Reflecting and assessing the journey of PM-JAY so far, Dr. Indu Bhushan, Chief Executive Officer AB PM-JAY and National Health Authority said, “Today, as we mark the two years Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY, world’s largest publicly funded health assurance scheme, has achieved several milestones, including 1 crore hospital admissions in May this year. This was achieved in less than 20 months since the launch of the scheme. With PM-JAY, India has taken a giant leap towards providing accessible and affordable healthcare to the common person. I am pleased to report that 1.26 crore hospital admissions, worth Rs 15,772 crores have been provided through a network of 23,311 hospitals across 32 States and UTs. The scheme has generated a savings of approx. Rs. 30,000 crores to its beneficiaries. 1,25,454 hospital admission have been authorized in non-patient States/UTs under portability of services. Kerala leads in the country with 6549 hospital admissions per lakh beneficiary population while with approximately 8.1 bed available per thousand beneficiary population, Goa leads the country. However, among the larger states, Karnataka and J & K are the leaders. We also got the opportunity to support the Government of India’s Covid-19 response through leveraging our call centre in running the national Covid helpline 1075 and providing free testing and treatment under PM-JAY. So far, 3.35 lakh tests and 31,500 treatments have been provided to the beneficiaries.”
Speaking about the pride of place that technology and innovation occupies in the running of the scheme, Dr. Indu Bhushan said, “In recognition of its contribution to digital transformation of health service delivery through PM-JAY, NHA was awarded “National Gold Award for e-Governance 2019-2020” for its IT system which is a digital marvel in the healthcare sector. Tonight, seven of the best healthcare startups in the country were awarded as the winners of Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY Startup Grand Challenge which was launched as an open platform to source the most promising innovations that can help solve some of our key implementation challenges and will be provided end-to-end scale-up support through our newly launched Market Access Program. New ideas through Arogya Manthan are being invented and implemented. Innovation is seen in the Start-up Grand Challenge and the launch of National Health Digital Mission has modernized the scheme. I would like to thank and congratulate Hon’ble Prime Minister Modi and NHA on completing 2 years of the scheme. PM’s vision for a ‘New India’ by 2022 has facilitated in making Aatm Nirbhar Swasth Bharat a reality, especially amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Seven startups namely, OnionDev Technologies (Gram Vaani), HealthCloudAILabs, Incredible Devices, Universal Mednet, Tricog Health, TrueCover, and Periwinkle Technologies, were recognised and awarded as the winners of the Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY Startup Grand Challenge by Dr. Harsh Vardhan. The Grand Jury comprising distinguished industry leaders – Dr. Sangita Reddy (Joint MD Apollo Hospitals), Mr. Mukesh Bansal (Founder, Myntra and CureFit.) Dr. Ambrish Mithal (Head, Endocrinology at Max hospital (Saket) & Member, Governing Board of NHA), Dr. Nachiket Mor (Health Economist & Former India Country Director, BMGF), Ms. Vani Kola (MD, Kalaari capital) and Mr. Prashant Prakash (Founding Partner, Accel Ventures India) – evaluated 22 startups shortlisted for the Grand finale held from 16th – 17th September.
The Health Minister also launched today the Market Access Program (MAP), is an initiative focused on accelerating adoption of innovations for Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY through validation pilots, procurement support, business intelligence and mentorship services facilitated through NHA. With MAP, disruptive innovations will now have an opportunity to directly access the Indian healthcare system and transform access, quality and affordability of healthcare.
During the inaugural session, Dr. Harsh Vardhan unveiled the electronic Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY Coffee Table Book (Volume 2), a collection of 100 photo stories of beneficiaries demonstrating sheer grit, determination and hope from across the States and UTs; Lessons Learned, a compilation of all the implementation challenges and learnings from the last year.
In addition to the above, Dr. Harsh Vardhan launched the AB PM-JAY Joint Certification Programme to develop the skills and knowledge of relevant stakeholders for accurate and efficient processing of claims and prevention and detection of fraud and abuse. This certification is jointly supported by the National Health Authority and the Insurance Institute of India (III) and developed by experts from NHA, III and the World Bank.
At this momentous occasion, given the zero tolerance policy towards fraud in AB PM-JAY, the Minister also released the, “AB PM-JAY Anti-Fraud Framework: Practitioners’ Guidebook” which will serve as a useful tool for the states as in one place it provides the anti-fraud guidelines, techniques, advisories along with legal remedies/course of action presently available under applicable Indian laws. This Guidebook will serve as an excellent instrument for capacity building for the State Health Agencies to take effective measures for prevention, detection and deterrence of fraud under AB PM-JAY.
Earlier this year, the National Health Authority was awarded with the mandate to implement the ambitious National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) by the Government of India. Dr. Indu Bhushan said, “NHA is entrusted with the design and roll-out of the National Digital Health Mission under the supervision of the Ministry of Health. The National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) aims to develop the necessary backbone to support the unified digital health infrastructure of the country. It will bridge the existing gap amongst different stakeholders of healthcare ecosystem through digital highways and increase access of citizens to healthcare.”
The conference was webcast live from all official social media pages of National Health Authority and was widely attended by members of the public and media.