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Cabinet approves Ayushman Bharat, health protection scheme to benefit 10 crore families

Ayushman Bharat is touted as the world's largest government-funded health care programme.

 Cabinet approves Ayushman Bharat, health protection scheme to benefit 10 crore families
Representational image

New Delhi: Union Cabinet on Monday approved the launch of Ayushman Bharat - National Health Protection Mission - which is slated to cover over ten crore poor families and provide coverage of upto Rupees five lakh. 

The scheme is touted as the world's largest government-funded health care programme. AB-NHPM will subsume the on-going centrally sponsored schemes - Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) and the Senior Citizen Health Insurance Scheme (SCHIS).

NHPM will enable beneficiaries to avail of health facilities from any part of the country and will be a paperless and cashless.

As per the government, various measures like identity validation through Aadhaar, will make NHPM easily accessible and transparent in approach. On the other hand, it's upto to the states to decide whether they want to implement the mission in trust mode, insurance company mode or mixed model.

Hailing NHPM, Union Health Minister JP Nadda said, "I am heartily thankful to PM Narendra Modi and Union Cabinet for approving National Health Protection Mission. It is one of the world’s largest public health programs. A visionary step towards advancing the agenda of universal health coverage."

He added, "NHPM will leverage on Comprehensive Primary Health Care through Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs) for providing universal health coverage and make health services equitable, affordable and accessible. It will benefit the poorest and the needy."

The Union Cabinet also approved the continuation of the National Health Mission.

NHPM was announced in the Union Budget 2018 by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

Earlier, on February 7, 2018, schemes worth about Rs 14,930 crore to boost the availability of human resources for health and medical sector was approved by the Union Cabinet. It included the establishment of 24 new medical colleges in unreserved areas.

The establishment of new medical colleges attached with existing district/referral hospitals will take place by 2021-22. 18,058 undergraduate and postgraduate seats will also be increased in medical colleges by 2020-21, an official statement had said. The government also plans to set up 248 nursing and midwifery schools.

It has been planned to ensure at least one medical college for every 3-5 Parliamentary constituencies and at least one government medical colleges in the state. The scheme will serve to create additional 10,000 MBBS and 8,000 PG seats in the country, it was said.

(With Agency inputs)