- Current Affairs
- Entertainment and Lifestyle
NEW DELHI, September 24, 2018: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday launched the 'Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY)' here, hailing it as the "World's biggest state-run healthcare scheme".
Launching the scheme, Modi said the intended beneficiaries outnumber the total population of the European Union or that of the USA, Canada and Mexico put together.
Modi said that the scheme, which targets more than 50 crore people, will be a subject for research for medical and social scientists and a model for the world to follow. He had announced AB-PMJAY in his Independence Day speech.
Without taking names, Modi used the occasion to target the Congress for "using schemes for the sake of vote-bank politics".
"Since long, we have been hearing the slogan of 'gareebi hatao' (abolish poverty) but they only indulged in politics of poverty, politics of vote bank. They were only giving out freebies to the poor instead of empowering them.
"Previous governments' schemes were guided by vote bank, with the beneficiaries selected on the basis of potential vote bank for them. But we strive for the empowerment of the poor. We believe in inclusive growth. The scheme is not aimed at benefiting a particular region or community or caste. It is for all, for the poorest of poor. The poor don't want freebies, they have self-respect and seek empowerment. We work for their empowerment," he added.
NITI Aayog member Dr Vinod Paul said the scheme — to be funded on a 60:40 ratio by the centre and state — will come into effect from September 25, the birth anniversary of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh ideologue Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay.
The scheme will provide a cover of up to Rs 5 lakh per family per year, for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation through a network of Empanelled Health Care Providers (EHCP). The EHCP network will provide cashless and paperless access to services for the beneficiaries at both public and private hospitals.