Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan speaking to ANI in New Delhi on Thursday. MoS for Health Ashwini Kumar Choubey, right, is also seen. Photo/ANI
Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan speaking to ANI in New Delhi on Thursday. MoS for Health Ashwini Kumar Choubey, right, is also seen. Photo/ANI

Will expand Ayushman Bharat scheme further: Dr Harsh Vardhan

ANI | Updated: May 21, 2020 20:42 IST

New Delhi [India], May 21 (ANI): Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY), the most ambitious scheme under which 55 crore poor people are able to get treatment for free up to Rs 5 lakh, will be expanded further, said Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan here on Thursday.
"Ayushaman Bharat is the most ambitious scheme. 55 crore poor people will be able to treatment for free up to Rs 5 lakh. The scheme has more than one crore beneficiaries. We have celebrated this today. We will take this scheme to new heights. We will expand this scheme further," Dr Vardhan told reporters.
On the occasion of AB-PMJAY scheme marking 1 crore treatments, Dr Vardhan today inaugurated the first edition of Aarogya Dhara, a series of webinars created as an open platform for discussion on topical issues of public health.
Dr Vardhan said that the Central government is making persistent efforts to expand testing and make treatment of COVID-19 available for free to all beneficiaries of Ayushman Bharat scheme.
"Concerted efforts by every health worker and all empanelled hospitals have helped us achieve the one crore mark," he said.
"Providing one crore treatments to patients from the country's poorest households since its launch less than two years ago is a milestone achievement for Ayushman Bharat PMJAY scheme," he said.

The Union Health Minister said that these treatments worth Rs 13,412 crore have been provided through a growing network of 21,565 public and private empanelled hospitals.
Dr Vardhan also launched 'Ask Ayushman' chatbot on WhatsApp, a 24/7 AI-enabled assistant that provides information on various aspects of AB-PMJAY scheme such as its benefits, features, process of making an e-card, locating the nearest empanelled hospital, sharing feedback and the process of lodging a grievance.
The Union Minister also launched a 'Hospital Ranking Dashboard,' which is a significant step to rank empanelled hospitals on the basis of beneficiaries' feedback.
"The ranking will help NHA to take the evidence-based decision for enhancing the quality measures and indicators of healthcare delivery across all empanelled facilities to further improve the beneficiaries experience," reads an official release from the Union Health Ministry.
The minister also released a 'Special edition of the AB-PMJAY beneficiary e-card' exhibiting the milestone of one crore hospital admissions.
The Hindi version of the Ayushman Bharat PMJAY website was also launched, which shall enable to effectively connect with the masses and to empower them with access to right information through a user-friendly medium.
Minister of State for Health Ashwini Kumar Choubey, who was also present on the occasion, said Union Health Ministry and National Health Authority (NHA) have been consistently developing, sharing, revising all testing, treatment, hospital and related guidelines, insights and information to its beneficiaries, which is of great help in dispelling rumours and myths surrounding COVID-19. (ANI)