The number of people who have benefited from the ‘Ayushman Bharat’ scheme has crossed the one crore-mark, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday, noting that the initiative has had a positive impact on several lives.
In September 2018, Modi had launched the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana-Ayushman Bharat. It has been termed as the biggest government-sponsored healthcare scheme in the world.
“It would make every Indian proud that the number of Ayushman Bharat beneficiaries has crossed 1 crore. In less than two years, this initiative has had a positive impact on so many lives,” the prime minister wrote on Twitter.
He congratulated all the beneficiaries and their families and prayed for their good health He appreciated the doctors, nurses, healthcare workers and all others associated with Ayushman Bharat, saying their efforts have made it the largest healthcare programme in the world.
“This initiative has won the trust of several Indians, especially the poor and downtrodden,” he said. One of the biggest benefits of Ayushman Bharat is portability, the prime minister pointed out.
“Beneficiaries can get top quality and affordable medical care not only where they registered but also in other parts of India. This helps those who work away from home or are registered at a place where they don’t belong,” he explained.
He said during his official tours, he would interact with Ayushman Bharat beneficiaries.
“Sadly, that is not possible these days but I did have a great telephone interaction with Pooja Thapa from Meghalaya, the 1 croreth beneficiary,” he said.
The prime minister shared the audio clip of the conversation in which Thapa, a soldier’s wife, explains about the surgery she underwent in Shillong using the Ayushman Bharat facility. Her husband is posted in Manipur and could not be with her due to the coronavirus lockdown. Her two small children are being taken care of by the neighbours.
On being asked by the prime minister, Thapa said she did not have to pay for the surgery and the medicines. She said without the scheme card, she would have found it difficult to go for the surgery without a loan.