Eight states and four UTs have signed MoUs with the Union Health Ministry to implement the government’s ambitious national health protection mission, which aims to provide a cover of Rs 5 lakh per family annually to 10 crore vulnerable families, an official said on Saturday.
Four states – Delhi, Odisha, Punjab and West Bengal – have not yet given any positive response towards adopting the programme, the health ministry official said. Discussions with these states are on, he added. The eight states which signed the MoUs to implement the Ayushman Bharat-National Health Protection Mission include Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand.
The Union Territory of Chandigarh is among the four UTs.
Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Tamil Nadu are among those that will sign the agreement soon, the official said. Prime Minister Modi is expected to roll out the programme on August 15.
Through the MoUs, the states and UTs formally committed to implement the health programme. The MoU outlines the role of central and state governments/UT administrations in implementing the scheme. Regional workshops are being planned across India to sign MoU with other states.
Union Health Minister J P Nadda had said the initiative would eventually become the world’s largest healthcare programme because of India’s second largest population.
The scheme will provide a coverage of Rs 5 lakh per family to 10 crore poor and vulnerable families annually. It will target poor rural families and identified occupational categories of urban workers’ families – 8.03 crore in rural and 2.33 crore in urban areas, according to the latest Socio-Economic and Caste Census data.
It will provide cashless and paperless access to services up to Rs 5 lakh per year and will be available for the beneficiary families at the point of service in public and private empanelled hospitals across India.
The beneficiaries under the scheme can avail the services anywhere in India and it is expected to bring a visible relief to the target families by mitigating the financial risk from catastrophic health episodes.