A glimmer of hope for poor families

With the implementation of Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) SEHAT scheme in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, lower and middle class families got a glimmer of hope to get free medical treatment up to Rs 5 lex per person thus bringing joy in the families of these patients as The high cost of treatment is unaffordable.

Most major surgeries and medical treatments are already conducted on average for such needy patients at Sher Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences and other hospitals in Jammu and Kashmir. Prior to the launch of this scheme, high-cost surgical treatment and medical treatment for such patients in rural and urban areas of Jammu and Kashmir and even Ladakh was almost too expensive.

The Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) SEHAT scheme was launched in 2020. The main objective of this scheme is to expand health insurance coverage to all the people of Jammu and Kashmir. It provides free insurance coverage to all residents of Jammu and Kashmir up to Rs 5 lakh per family on a floating basis for all residents. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) SEHAT scheme in December, 2020. The full form of SEHAT is social, striving for health, and telemedicine. The government will work to ensure the smooth implementation of the entire PMJAY SEHAT in all districts and districts of Jammu and Kashmir.

It is the world’s largest fully government funded health insurance/insurance scheme providing cover of Rs 500,000 per family per year for hospitalization in secondary and tertiary care across public and private hospitals set up in India. Benefit of Rs 5,00,000 on floating family basis. This means that it can be used by one individual or the whole family. It covers medical procedures including oncology, cardiology, kidney disease, up to three days of hospitalization and 15 days after hospitalization, and expenses for diagnosis and medication are also included in the scheme.

The 2017 National Health Policy envisioned health and wellness centers as the foundation of India’s health system. Under this 1.5 lakh, the centers will bring the healthcare system closer to people’s homes. These centers will provide comprehensive health care, including non-communicable diseases and maternal and child health services. These centers will also provide essential medicines and diagnostic services free of charge. The budget has allotted Rs 1,200 crore for this pilot programme. The contribution of the private sector through corporate social responsibility and charitable institutions in adopting these centers is also envisaged.

The government health agency has already started the Jammu and Kashmir Gold Card campaign to target the registration of 97 lives under the “Ayushman Bharat SEHAT Scheme” launched by the Government of India which has revolutionized the health sector across Jammu and Kashmir. With this scheme, a large number of poor people who cannot afford hospitalization can now receive advanced treatment for their health conditions in all the hospitals set up across the country. As per the official figures, more than 76,52,064 people (78.74%) are registered under this scheme in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir making them eligible for free and high quality treatment in the hospitals set up in the country and among the 25,05,626 beds Targeted, 22,51,116 (89.84%) families with at least one family member were verified.

Notably, Shopian, Kulgam and Ganderbal districts have achieved 100 per cent saturation under the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB PM-JAY) SEHAT scheme. These areas have achieved a milestone due to the continuous efforts by the district administration and special registration drives organized by the State Health Agency (SHA) aimed at covering all families under the AB-PMJAY SEHAT scheme. The AB PM-JAY SEHAT scheme is the world’s largest fully government-funded health insurance scheme providing coverage of Rs 5,000 per family per year for hospitalization in secondary and tertiary care.

Earlier, SHA launched an ambitious door-to-door exercise to achieve 100 percent saturation under the Ayushman Bharat PMJAY SEHAT scheme. The AB-PMJAY SEHAT scheme has become a ray of hope for poor families who cannot afford health treatment at the most prestigious and well-known medical institutes in the country. At the initiative of Gaon Gaon Ayushman, the State Health Agency (SHA) has also begun to reach out to last mile villages still cut off from the rest of the world by adverse weather conditions in order to take advantage of the benefits of the scheme down to every beneficiary.

The Guild Territory Administration has already directed the State Health Agency to make additional efforts and ensure the mobilization of the neglected population within their jurisdictions with the help of the concerned Store Keepers/Fair Price Store Owners and Anganwari Workers so that people are entitled to get the benefit of getting the Gold Card in need of an hour that provides comprehensive health insurance coverage Up to 5 lakh rupees per household on a floating basis in accordance with Central Government Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY).

So far, as many as 5,64,404 gold cards have been issued in Srinagar district covering 1,67,538 families, the registration process under the scheme is underway and the remaining beneficiaries will be covered in the shortest possible time. At the initiative of Gaon Gaon Ayushman, the State Health Agency (SHA) has also begun to reach even last mile villages still cut off from the rest of the world by adverse weather conditions to popularize the benefits of the scheme down to every beneficiary.

Notably, to ensure hassle-free registration of all eligible beneficiaries under the scheme, the State Health Agency (SHA) has set up a network of over 8000 Shared Service Centers (CSCs) in Jammu and Kashmir. VLE centers are also stationed in villages to ensure 100 percent of grass-roots enrollment and outreach activities in collaboration with PRI representatives and ASHA staff.

An ongoing awareness campaign by the administration through various mediums including television, radio, print and social media is already going on. Access to Gold Cards has also been simplified so that everyone in their area can get them. Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB PM-JAY) SEHAT passed a major milestone in providing Rs 5,000 free treatments to J&K UT citizens recently.

(The author is a regular columnist and can be mailed to m.hanief@gmail.com)

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