Chhattisgarh tops Ayushman Bharat beneficiaries
Ayushman Bharat, which is arguably the world’s largest cashless health insurance scheme, was launched on September 23, 2018 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Ranchi.
Five months after Chhattisgarh health minister T S Singhdeo threatened to withdraw from the central scheme, National Health Authority has not received any formal communication to this effect. Ironically, the state has emerged as the top performer. Ayushman Bharat, which is arguably the world’s largest cashless health insurance scheme, was launched on September 23, 2018 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Ranchi. It provides Rs 5 lakh per year per family insurance cover for secondary and tertiary healthcare.
As per data provided by the National Health Authority, the nodal agency for Ayushman Bharat, or ‘Modicare’ as it is popularly known, Chhattisgarh has the most number of pre-authorised cases – a parameter to gauge how many people are benefitting from the scheme. So far, more than 500,000 people in Chhattisgarh have benefitted from the scheme and the state has used Rs 374 crore in eight months. This is likely to go up to Rs 500 crore over the next four months.“We have received no formal letter from Chhattisgarh government informing us about withdrawal from the central scheme. We have only read such reports in the media,” Indu Bhushan, CEO of Ayushman Bharat, told ET. “In fact, the state is the best performer all over India.”
As per data, the most number of beneficiaries in Chhattisgarh—about 41,000—had taken treatment for coronary angiography, followed by 37,000 for double stent, and 36,000 for single stent.
In an interview with ET in January, Singhdeo had said, “We have decided to withdraw the scheme. We don’t understand why we need to operate insurance packages when we have the entire system of medicine purchase, ASHA worker network, and primary healthcare centres in place. We have the manpower and are capable of providing universal healthcare.” So far, the state has not devised any new scheme for healthcare. In beneficiaries count, Chhattisgarh is followed by Kerala, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, in that order. In case Chhattisgarh decides to withdraw from the scheme, it will have to return the unutilised grant-in-aid provided by the Centre.