50-year-old, Devendra Singh from Mainpuri, Uttar Pradesh got the first-ever free-of-cost open heart surgery in India on December 1, 2018, under the auspices of the ambitious Ayushman Bharat Scheme. The point to be noted here is that he is one among the poor Indians who were not able to afford expensive medical treatment, however, he got cured due to the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY).
Dr.Indu Bhushan, CEO, Ayushman Bharat informed about this first-ever open heart surgery completely covered under Ayushman Bharat Scheme, in a tweet.
PMJAY was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 23, 2018, in Ranchi, Chhattisgarh. It is an initiative dedicated to serve the healthcare needs of the poor and vulnerable sections of society. In just 70 days, around 4 lakh people got the required treatment under Ayushman Bharat! Looking at these numbers, it is worth appreciating the huge effort and resources put together in Ayushman Bharat scheme.
It is not common to find poor people struggling with ailments, not undergoing treatment or delaying their treatment in India. They do because of the sheer lack of financial resources. Thus, it is notable that people getting benefits under Ayushman Bharat scheme are people belonging to 10.7 crore poorest families of India who strive to earn their basic livelihood and often fall prey of catastrophic healthcare expenditure.
Around 4 lakh beneficiaries or hospital admissions and generation of more than 13 lakh Ayushman Bharat or PMJAY beneficiary e-cards till now, indicates the rapid speed at which the scheme is reaching out to the masses. PMJAY is reducing the healthcare disparities between the rich and the poor, as earlier poor people could not even think of getting treated in private hospitals, and standing in the queue of public hospitals was the only answer they had. But under PMJAY, around 66% of the total beneficiaries have availed treatment in private hospitals, and National Health Authority (NHA) has paid an amount of around Rs 3.12 billion for the claims of the hospitals, as on November 26, 2018. The maximum benefits under the scheme have been availed by people from Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, and Madhya Pradesh.
In view of creating a responsive health system, NHA also has plans of giving star ratings to the empanelled hospitals under PMJAY, exclusively on the basis of the treatment received by the beneficiaries.
Ayushman Bharat is the most ambitious project of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which has been receiving admiration from across the world. It has been much appreciated in various international circuits, even the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) had praised Ayushman Bharat and called it a ‘great commitment’.
It is to be recognized that the real achievement of Ayushman Bharat Scheme is the absolute potential and hope it holds for crores of poor people of India, who could earlier only dream about the accessibility and availability of quality healthcare. These unique pro-poor policies and programs of the current government are not only boosting the confidence and morale of the people of India but are also empowering them through improving their overall quality of life.