Ayushman Bharat also called Modicare is PM Modi’s pet scheme. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Ayushman Bharat scheme on September 23rd 2018. The scheme aims to cover 10 crore poor and vulnerable families in India, (This is around 50 crore beneficiaries), with health insurance. This is health insurance coverage of Rs 5 Lakhs per family per year, for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization.
The Ayushman Bharat scheme currently covers 40% of the people in India. The scheme aims to set up 1.5 Lakh health and wellness centres across India. Under Modi 2.0, Ayushman Bharat aims to expand in a big way. The Modi Government plans to bring 75% of all Indians under the Ayushman Bharat scheme. All state and central government-run health insurance schemes would be merged under the Ayushman Bharat scheme.
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All Central Government-run schemes like Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY), Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS), Employees’ State Insurance (ESI), Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) and the railways health scheme must be merged with Ayushman Bharat by the end of this year. This would bring more than 75% of Indians under Ayushman Bharat. This move would help both the center and the state, run Ayushman Bharat in a much better way.
The Government also raised the allocation towards Ayushman Bharat Scheme to Rs 6,400 crores in Union Budget 2019. This is a whopping 167% rise from the Rs 2,400 crores, allocated in 2018-19. This kind of budget can bring healthcare to crores of Indians.
Modicare improves the paying capacity of crores of Indians, especially those in rural areas. With more money in the hands of the rural poor, private hospitals will open in rural areas bringing quality healthcare to the doorsteps of crores of Indians. This can bridge the rural-urban divide in India.
The Government with 1.5 Lakh health and wellness centres would double public health expenditure as a share of GDP to 2.5% by 2025. This could be a game changer for healthcare in India.
The Government is looking to eradicate malaria and tuberculosis in India. It also looks at screening measures to remove the burden of non-communicable diseases like diabetes and hypertension. Drug prices must be reduced with a formula to cap trade margins. The Government has already made a start by capping the trade margin at 30% vis-a-vis 42 non-scheduled cancer drugs.
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