The National Health Authority (NHA) on Saturday said that testing and treatment for COVID-19 will be free of cost for Ayushman Bharat beneficiaries at private laboratories and empanelled hospitals.
“Testing and treatment of COVID-19 is already available for free in public facilities. Now, more than 50 crore citizens, eligible under the health assurance scheme will be able to avail free testing through private labs and treatment for COVID-19 in empanelled hospitals,” NHA, which implements Ayushman Bharat scheme, said in a statement.
All the hospitals that are listed under the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) will now be able to use their authorised testing facilities or tie up with one, the NHA said.
The tests will be performed as per the guidelines of the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) and by private labs approved or registered by it, the body said.
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Treatment of the infection by private hospitals will also be covered under the health insurance scheme, it said.
“In this unprecedented crisis, we have to very actively involve the private sector as a key partner and stakeholder in the fight against COVID-19,” news agency PTI quoted Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan as saying. “Making testing and treatment available under Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY will significantly expand our capacities by including private sector hospitals and labs and mitigate the adverse impact of this catastrophic illness on the poor.”
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