Ayushman Bharat scheme to cover 55 crore people: Union minister JP Nadda

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Ayushman Bharat, the Centres flagship national health protection scheme, will provide coverage to nearly 55 crore people as 10.74 crore households are being targeted as beneficiaries, Union minister J P Nadda said today. 29 states and UTs have signed the MoU and started working on implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojna. The pilots have started in 16 states Other states\/UTs will also start pilots before fully launching the scheme on September 25, the health minister said. Addressing a function here, the minister said as part of the scheme, 94 IT controls are being provided so that the security and storage of the personal data of health is not shared without the consent of the person. The minister observed that once a person has been identified as an eligible beneficiary, a card will be issued to him or her to avail annual health cover facility of up to Rs 5 lakh. Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Abhiyan, known also as Ayushman Bharat scheme, will be launched across the country from September 25. An agreement was signed today between the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare where one lakh Aarogya Mitras will be trained by Skill India supporting the recently announced Ayushman Bharat. Aarogya Mitras will help identify intended beneficiaries under the scheme by assessing their proof of identity, Nadda said. It has been proposed to depute Aarogya Mitra at each Empaneled Health Care Provider to provide support in beneficiary verification, grievance redressal, etc. Nadda categorically said that no enrolment is required for beneficiaries and there is no payment for obtaining services at empanelled hospitals. Criminal cases will be charged against fraudulent websites and agents trying to collect money from beneficiaries, he added. The services will include more than 1,300 procedures covering pre and post hospitalisation, diagnostics, medicines etc., and the beneficiaries will be able to move across borders and access services across the country through the provider network seamlessly, Nadda said. Addressing the conference, he said the government has given total flexibility to states to choose their own modes of implementation among insurance, trust or mixed mode and the government is ready to provide the required support also. The information security is based on international best practices and India specific regulations and more than 94 controls set at various levels for secure handling of sensitive personal data. Strong measures have been taken to ensure security and privacy of data obtained, stored and used based on international best practices and India specific regulations, Nadda said.