Railways, Army hospitals to be part of Modicare | India News


NEW DELHI: Beneficiaries of government-funded health insurance scheme Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) will soon get treatment in all railway hospitals, Army hospitals, ESIC hospitals as well as in some of the hospitals owned by public sector units (PSUs) across the country.

In a move to enhance capacity and increase accessibility for patients to avail hospitalisation, the National Health Agency – responsible for implementation of the health insurance scheme – is trying to expand the network of hospitals by empanelling those in the government sector with spare capacity.

“We have already initiated talks with the ministry of railways, defence, ESIC, and department of public sector enterprises to empanel all the hospitals under them across the country. This would increase capacity as well as give more choices to beneficiaries of Ayushman Bharat across the country,” Ayushman Bharat chief executive Indu Bhushan told TOI.

The world’s largest state-funded health insurance scheme, dubbed as Modicare, was launched by PM Narendra Modi in September from Ranchi. PMJAY is the secondary and tertiary care arm of the government’s flagship Ayushman Bharat scheme, which also includes plans to open health and wellness centres across the country to cater to people’s primary healthcare needs.

Under PMJAY, the Centre plans to increase the rate of hospitalisation by around 0.3% annually for first few years. As per its projections, the increase will require an additional 40,000 beds. The current capacity under the scheme is also around 40,000 beds including public as well as private hospitals.

Around 125 railway hospitals including specialised hospitals for cancer (Varanasi), heart diseases(Chennai), orthopaedics (Kolkata) and plastic surgery (Mumbai) – which were so far available only to railway employees – are expected to be open for around 50 crore beneficiaries whose name appear in the socio-economic caste census (SECC) from January 1.

Similarly, there are over ESIC 150 hospitals, 112 military hospitals, 12 Air Force hospitals and nine naval hospitals across India. NHA will soon begin training and do infrastructural update to empanel these hospitals under the scheme, Bhushan said.

The scheme, which was initially rolled out in 445 districts spanning across 30 states, aims to cover nearly 50 crore beneficiaries from 10.74 crore deprived families as per SECC data with an annual cashless health cover of Rs 5 lakh per family.


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