With the Delhi government and the Centre inflexible on a name for the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, the National Health Agency (NHA) has started empanelling private hospitals in the capital on its own rather than going through the state health agency like in other states.
On Monday, Ayushman Bharat CEO Dr Indu Bhushan tweeted: “Elated to share that Cygnus Sonia Hospital, Nagloi (NABH Accredited), has become Delhi’s 1st Private Hospital to be empaneled under #AyushmanBharat #PMJAY. A testament of the belief of the capital’s pvt. hospitals in the visionary leadership of @narendramodi @PMOIndia. @JPNadda.”
Delhi is one of three states that are yet to join the ambitious health programme, under which 10.74 crore families will be given an annual health cover of Rs 5 lakh each. It was launched on September 23 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Since its inception, 33 states/UTs have signed the MoU for implementation of PMJAY; 6,03,050 e-cards have been generated for beneficiaries; and 2,32,592 beneficiaries have received treatment of pre-authorised amount of Rs 344.8 crore in all. However, Delhi’s entry is stuck over a difference about the name of the scheme. Delhi government wants the words ‘Aam Aadmi’ to take precedence over Ayushman Bharat, but the Centre is not enthused about the idea. “We (NHA) are empanelling hospitals directly. We need to provide national portability,” Bhushan told The Indian Express.
Thousands of patients from across the country head to Delhi every year for treatment, so not having Delhi hospitals on the NHA platform would be a dampener for PMJAY, officials said. For a while, they had considered empanelling Delhi hospitals through the Haryana State Health Agency, but that idea was eventually dropped. Normally, the NHA is directly empanelling only institutes of excellence such as AIIMS and PGIs.
Delhi’s entry, meanwhile, remains in limbo. On August 23, Dr R N Das, additional director in the Directorate General of Health Services, wrote to NHA deputy CEO Dr Dinesh Arora: “Hon’ble minister of health… has minuted that name of the scheme will be Mukhya Mantri Aam Aad(m)i Swasthya Bima Yojana Ayushman Bharat for implementation in Delhi.”
On August 28, Arora wrote: “Since this is a national scheme with national character, it’s critical that the name of the scheme starts with AYUSHMAN BHARAT. This will help us in operationalising portability… The state government can have any suffix after AYUSHMAN BHARAT.”