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Economic Survey: People relied on PMJAY even during COVID-19 pandemic

ANI | Updated: Jan 29, 2021 18:53 IST

New Delhi [India], January 29 (ANI): The Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY), a component of the 'Ayushman Bharat Yojana' that aims to provide healthcare access to the most vulnerable sections, was relied on even during the COVID-19 induced lockdown, noted the Economic Survey that was tabled in Parliament on Friday.
The survey stated that the PMJAY has had a strong positive impact on the healthcare outcomes of those states that have adopted the healthcare scheme, the Survey said, adding that the scheme is being used for high frequency and low-cost care consisting of the general utilisation of healthcare services.
"Services such as dialysis continued to be utilised without disruption even during the Covid pandemic and the lockdown. General medicine, the overwhelmingly major clinical specialty accounting for over half the claims, exhibited a V-shaped recovery after falling during the lockdown and reached pre-Covid levels in December 2020," it added.
It also suggested that the National Dialysis Mission could be merged with PMJAY taking into account the increase in numbers.
The scheme was rolled out in March 2018 as a historic step to provide secondary and tertiary healthcare services, and its beneficiaries included approximately 50 crores individuals across 10.74 crores of poor and vulnerable families.
Comparing West Bengal, a state that did not implement the scheme, with its neighbouring states like Bihar, Assam and Sikkim, the Survey demonstrated that the proportion of households that had health insurance increased in Bihar, Assam and Sikkim from 2015-16 to 2019-20 by 89 per cent while it decreased by 12 per cent over the same period in West Bengal.
In the same period, infant mortality rates declined by 20 per cent for West Bengal while the decline was 28 per cent for the three neighbouring states.
Modern methods of contraception, female sterilization and pill usage went up by 36 per cent, 22 per cent and 28 per cent respectively in the three neighbouring states, while negligible changes were reported in West Bengal.
The Economic Survey also showed significant improvements in health outcomes in states that implemented the scheme versus those that did not.
States that adopted the PMJAY experienced greater penetration of health insurance, experienced reduction in infant and child mortality rates, improved access and utilisation of family planning services and greater awareness about HIV/AIDS.
The reduction in Infant Mortality Rate was 20 per cent and 12 per cent in PMJAY and non-PMJAY states.
"The proportion of people ensuring family planning rose across all the states between the two surveys, the increase is much more significant in the states that adopted PM-JAY indicating its effectiveness," the survey said. (ANI)