Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY holds a two-day Arogya Manthan to mark completion of one year

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Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY holds a two-day Arogya Manthan to mark completion of one year

New initiatives launched: PM-JAY IT 2.0 and Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY Startup Grand Challenge

One year ago, Government of India launched Ayushman Bharat and rolled out this landmark health sector reform that can be a gamechanger for 50 crore poor and vulnerable Indians. Ayushman Bharat is a path-breaking approach for attaining the ultimate goal of universal healthcare. It has two components: Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs), to ensure comprehensive primary health care through operationalizing 1,50,000 HWCs and, Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY), the health assurance scheme to deliver secondary and tertiary care for serious illnesses through a health cover of over Rs. 5 lakh per family per year.

To mark the one-year implementation of Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY), National Health Authority (NHA), the nodal agency for implementation of PM-JAY, had organized a 2-day national event, Ayushman Bharat Arogya Manthan, on 30th September and 1st October 2019 at Vigyan Bhawan New Delhi. The event was attended by more than 1,400 participants from all over the country. Representatives of Central Ministries, State Governments, insurance companies, hospitals, Third Party Administrators, NGOs, industry bodies, experts, development partners and researchers participated in this mega event. 

Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Minister of Health and Family Welfare, inaugurated the event. He said, “As part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, India is committed to achieving universal health coverage. Ayushman Bharat has the potential to represent an important milestone on India’s road to achieving UHC. September 2019 marked the first-year anniversary of Ayushman Bharat’s launch. This is a significant milestone for the world’s largest health assurance scheme, which is now a benchmark scheme for the world”.

The Union Minister released the annual report of NHA, and two booklets on lessons learnt and best practices from the States in last one year.He added “As we celebrate one year of Ayushman Bharat, I would like to congratulate NHA, the States and all stakeholders. I wish the scheme all the best in providing good quality healthcare to the poor and vulnerable across India. In this short period of 12 months, 46.5 lakh hospital treatments, worth Rs 7,490 crores have been carried out, and 60% of the amount spent is on tertiary care. PM-JAY now transitions from the launch phase to a system strengthening phase”.

NHA stated that PM-JAY follows the spirit of cooperative federalism and Government of India and State Governments have worked with a strong partnership approach. Arogya Manthan marked not only one year of the implementation of the scheme, but also provided a platform for discussions with States/UTs and other stakeholders on best practices, challenges faced for cross-learning and developing a pathway for way ahead. On the first day of the Arogya Manthan, all important stakeholders of PM-JAY interacted through plenary sessions, parallel sessions, working groups, poster presentations, exhibitions and walkway.

In the event, there was a technical session on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) theme. States of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh and Meghalaya, who have already expanded PM-JAY to cover all the residents of their States shared their experiences, and these provided insights and motivation to other States to move towards UHC. Inter-ministerial learnings were shared in this event, and the insights from NITI Aayog and Ministry of Rural Development from implementing schemes that reach the last person in the queue, were well received.

At Arogya Manthan, there were various parallel sessions and working group presentations. There were many productive discussions and debates around issues that are topical and relevant to PM-JAY; such as reaching the last mile, anti-fraud and abuse, moving towards UHC, Continuum of Care- from primary care to hospitalization care, innovations in IT and by startups, strengthening supply side, improving quality, capacity building, monitoring & evaluation. The states also shared their experience of various models of implementation of PM-JAY and their learnings on convergence of schemes. The working groups finalised their reports and presented their recommendations.

During the last one year, NHA signed MOUs with many private and public sector organisations in areas as diverse as cancer care to beneficiary outreach and empowerment to scaling -up innovations. At this event, MOU was signed between NHA and ESIS, which will help increase the reach of PM-JAY amongst the entitled families.

NHA stated that one of the main objectives of Arogya Manthan was to develop cross learnings by sharing best practices. An exhibition in the form of a learning and sharing space had being organized, and 12 States had set up their stalls. These States presented their innovations and best practices with the participants of the Arogya Manthan. In addition, few Start Ups working in this field showcased their work in their stalls.

After seeing all the work showcased at Arogya Manthan, the Union Minister added “In this Arogya Manthan, the participation of the States and UTs has been terrific, and this has helped in bringing out varied perspectives to the various issues in the implementation of the scheme that we will continue to face in the years to come. Due to the interesting deliberations, innovative and practical solutions to the challenges have emerged. These will guide Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY, as the scheme forges new pathways”.

At the event, in addition to the stalls, to showcase the research that is being done by NHA and its partners, 17 high quality posters were presented in the poster presentation gallery, showcasing cutting edge research and their findings.

NHA also stated that an innovative walkway was set up at the event, and the dignitaries were able to experience the journey of PM-JAY so far, its progress, milestones, innovations, achievements. Various aspects such as NHA partnerships, job creation, anti-fraud and Artificial Intelligence efforts, PM-JAY IT 2.0, portability of the scheme, beneficiary empowerment, capacity building were showcased in an interactive manner.

The Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi presided over the valedictory session of the Ayushman Bharat Arogya Manthan. He launched the commemorative stamp of PM-JAY, the new mobile app PM-JAY 2.0 and the Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY Startup Grand Challenge. A presentation on the progress of the scheme till now, way forward, learnings during the Arogya Manthan and recommendations of the five working groups was made by CEO, NHA.

About the scheme Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY) provides a cover of up to Rs. 5 lakhs per family per year, for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization. Over 10.74 crore vulnerable entitled families (approximately 50 crore beneficiaries) are eligible for these benefits. PM-JAY provides cashless and paperless access to services for the beneficiary at the point of service. PM-JAY will help reduce catastrophic expenditure for hospitalizations, which impoverishes people and will help mitigate the financial risk arising out of catastrophic health episodes. Entitled families will be able to use the quality health services they need without facing financial hardships.

Neeraj Vats

Neeraj Vats

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