The Union Health Minister, J P Nadda on June 14, 2018 exchanged Memorandum of Understanding with health ministers from 20 states, marking their commitment towards the launch of the Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM) at a Health Ministers conclave in New Delhi.
Speaking on the occasion, J P Nadda stated that the initiative will change the landscape of healthcare in the country. “We shall work together, learn together, so that we work with the spirit of cooperative federalism, to perfect this largest health assurance scheme of the world,” he said.
• The AB-NHPM will protect around 50 crore people from about 10 crore families.
• The scheme will enable cashless and paperless access to services up to Rs 5 lakhs per family per year.
• The services will be available for the beneficiary families at the point of service in both public and private empanelled hospitals across India.
• The scheme is expected to bring a visible relief to the target families by mitigating the financial risk arising out of catastrophic health episodes.
The Ayushman Bharat - National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM) will have a major impact on the reduction of Out Of Pocket (OOP) expenditure.
The scheme will give cashless benefits in any public or private hospital across the country, ensuring accessible and equitable quality health care to the marginalized and vulnerable sections.
Significance: The scheme is a huge step towards improving secondary and tertiary hospitalisation and healthcare facilities.
The Health Minister emphasised that the success of the scheme hinges upon the active participation of the states. He added that the states need to own the scheme while the Centre will design the policy framework with all possible flexibility and support.
• So far, 20 states have signed the MoU. The number is likely to go up to 25 by the end of June 2018.
• During the Health Ministers conclave, model tender documents, final operational guidelines for AB-NHPM were released that are focused on beneficiary centric delivery of services while ensuring there is no compromise on the quality of healthcare services and preventing frauds.
• The participants were appreciative of the inclusive approach taken by National Health Agency during consultations and workshops.
• The conclave also saw the launch of a web portal for initiating the empanelment of hospitals under the mission.
• The training and demo of the empanelment software will be conducted in next two weeks and the state would be able to operationalise empanelment of hospitals by July 1.
• The scheme will provide a defined benefit coverage of Rs 5 lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization to 10 crore poor and vulnerable families (approximately 50 crore beneficiaries).
• The beneficiary families covered under the scheme will be allowed to take cashless benefits from any public/private empanelled hospitals across the country.
• The beneficiaries will be decided on the basis of the Socio-Economic and Caste Census 2011 (SECC) database.
• It will be rolled out across all States/UTs in all districts with an objective to cover all the targeted beneficiaries. To control costs, the payments for treatment will be done on package rate basis.
• The scheme proposes setting up of Ayushman Bharat National Health Protection Mission Council (AB-NHPMC) at the national level to give policy directions and fostering coordination between centre and states. The council will be chaired by Union Health and Family Welfare Minister.
• The states would be required to set up a dedicated entity called State Health Agency (SHA) to implement the scheme.
• In partnership with NITI Aayog, a robust, modular, scalable and interoperable IT platform will be made operational which will entail a paperless, cashless transaction.
• The expenditure incurred in premium payment will be shared between Central and State Governments in a specified ratio as per Ministry of Finance guidelines.
• The scheme is expected to increase access to quality health and medication. It is also expected to lead to timely treatments, improvements in health outcomes, patient satisfaction, improvement in productivity and efficiency, job creation thus leading to improvement in the quality of life.
Where: New Delhi
What: Sign MoU