3k tested for Covid under Ayushman Bharat: NHA
The number of people who have availed of AB-PMJAY since its launch in September 2018 has, meanwhile, reached 10 million.Updated: May 21, 2020 08:47 IST
In the month-and-a-half since treatment of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) was made free under Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojna (AB-PMJAY), at least 2,000 people have either been treated or are being treated for the viral disease under the world’s largest public health insurance scheme.
The number of people who have availed of AB-PMJAY since its launch in September 2018 has, meanwhile, reached 10 million.
At least 3,000 people have also been tested cashless for Covid-19 under the scheme.
The National Health Authority (NHA), which is the implementing authority of the scheme, has empanelled about 1,500 more hospitals under AB-PMJAY in the past one month to treat Covid-19 patients, the NHA said on Wednesday.
“We want to be prepared in case there is a surge in cases. As of now, public sector is taking care of much of the load but if there’s an unusual increase then we would need private sector hospitals also to chip in. We are currently on a drive to add more hospitals to the list. We have created separate Covid treatment packages also as treating these patients requires isolation, PPE [personal protection equipment] kits, extra manpower etc,” said Indu Bhushan, chief executive officer, NHA.
The authority is in the process of adding private laboratories for Covid-19 testing that have been approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research. The rate packages are being used from the already existing category-related to respiratory illnesses, severe acute respiratory infection and influenza-like illness with aggravated symptoms.
Responding to the outbreak of Covid-19, the Union ministry of health and family welfare has made the testing and treatment for Covid-19 free of cost under AB-PMJAY scheme for all its 53 crore [530 million] beneficiaries… 2,132 people have availed or are currently undergoing treatment for Covid-19 under AB PM-JAY in the country,” NHA said in a statement.
NHA teams are also reaching out to its elderly -- those above 60 years of age -- and other high-risk category beneficiaries (who recently received treatment) to check if any of them has Covid symptoms and needs testing through its call entre, which is staffed by about 700 dedicated operators. Close to 30 million such calls have already been made.
“Our aim was to call up all of beneficiaries who are above 60 years, recently received treatment and those who have co-morbidities because these are the people at high risk. Our call centre is running 24x7,” said Bhsuhan.
The call centre is also being used to get in touch with people identified at potential risk of contracting the infection by the Arogya Setu mobile application, to caution them so that they strictly follow preventive measures. Close to 600,000 people have been contacted and 15,000 tele-consultations facilitated with doctors in the past couple of months.
NHA has empanelled 21,565 hospitals under the scheme, of which 1,385 hospitals have been empanelled across the country since April 1. Of the total new hospitals, nearly 58% per cent are private hospitals.
The authority is also launching a hospital-ranking dashboard to rank empanelled hospitals on the basis of beneficiaries’ feedback. “The ranking will help NHA to take evidence-based decision-making for enhancing the quality measures and indicators of healthcare delivery across all empanelled facilities to further improve the beneficiaries’ experience,” it said in a statement.