Centre’s Ayushman Bharat to be replaced by ‘improved’ Mahaayushman in MP
The Congress-led government in Madhya Pradesh will replace the Centre’s flagship Ayushman Bharat health scheme with ‘Mahaayushman’ in the state, health minister Tulsi Silawat said.
The scheme will offer enhanced health cover for families below poverty line and cover the middle-class as well, Silawat said. It will be launched under Right to Health for all the residents of the central state on August 15, the minister said.
“The new scheme will be an improved version of Ayushman Bharat,” Silawat said.
A senior health department official said that under the Ayushman Bharat scheme only the socially economically weaker section (SEWS) families are allowed to be registered.
“Under the new scheme, 4.8 million families of the middle class and upper middle class will be added as beneficiaries. The total beneficiaries will be 18.8 million,” said a senior official of the health department, who is privy to the decision.
The official quoted above said that the health insurance coverage will be increased from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 7.5 lakh for SEWS while others will get a benefit of up to Rs 2.5 lakh.
“The accidental cover of Rs 2.5 lakh for SWES will also be included in the scheme which is not a part of the Centre’s scheme” the official added.
The official said that the state government will need about Rs 1,500 crore more to implement the new scheme. This will be in addition to the Centre’s shares of premium to insurance companies to provide health benefit under Ayushman Bharat.
Silawat said a government-run trust will be incorporated for managing the new scheme and providing state government’s share of the insurance premium for the additional and existing beneficiaries.
While the scheme will continue to be free for the below poverty lines families, the minister said the middle class and upper-class families will have to pay a nominal premium to get the benefit.
“The amount of premium they (middle and upper middle class) will have is yet to be decided,” he said.
Another official, who is deputed to run the Centre’s scheme, said the state government was finding it tough to implement the Centre’s scheme as most of the private hospitals have refused to be a part of the scheme.
“The Ayushman Bharat is limited to minor illnesses like fever, typhoid, cataract and also caesarian delivery etc in MP as the private hospitals have refused to serve under the scheme due to package rates. However, the new scheme will address this problem too,” the second official said.
Health right activist Amulya Nidhi praised the Madhya Pradesh government’s health programme. “It is a good scheme but the government should keep a vigil on corruption,” Nidhi added.
The leader of opposition in the state assembly Gopal Bhargava said the Congress government in MP has failed in governance.
“Now, they are changing the name of the good schemes to take credit but they can’t befool the people,” Bhargava said.