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PM asks BJP-ruled States to speed up pace on Ayushman Bharat, expresses concern over 7 Opposition-ruled states not signing up

The PM also expressed his concern over seven states not signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Centre so far for rolling out the scheme.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Sep 06, 2018, 08.37 AM IST
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
With less than a month to go for the launch of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojna scheme, popularly known as Ayushman Bharat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked seven states including BJP-ruled Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Bihar and Sikkim to “make more efforts” to ensure the scheme is rolled out on time. The PM has also expressed concern over seven other states not coming on board the scheme so far.

These directions were given by the PM at a review meeting held on August 29 after the PM announced from Red Fort on August 15 that his signature medical insurance scheme will be rolled out country-wide on September 25, the birth anniversary of RSS ideologue Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhayaya. “Governments of Bihar, Goa, Puducherry, Sikkim, Jammu & Kashmir, Maharashtra and Rajasthan need to make more efforts for the scheme,” the minutes of the meeting, which were reviewed by ET, have noted. The BJP is in power in states of Goa, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Bihar and Sikkim. This directive from the PM to speed up matters in seven states comes on the back of other states like Uttar Pradesh and Haryana already having started pilot runs of ‘Ayushman Bharat’ scheme.

The PM also expressed his concern over seven states not signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Centre so far for rolling out the scheme. All these seven states are ruled by opposition parties, with Odisha refusing to sign the MoU and launching its own parallel health insurance scheme. “Governments of Karnataka, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Telangana, Odisha and Delhi should expedite signing of MoU,” say minutes of the review meeting chaired by PM on August 29. In a presentation at a press conference a day earlier on August 28, Health Ministry said Delhi, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Punjab and Karnataka were “likely” to come on board for MOUs while there was “no information” from Telangana and Odisha.

“Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and States/UTs should resolve all the issues (identification of State Health Agency, appointment of CEO, escrow account, beneficiary identification system, empanelment of hospitals, designation of Ayushman Mitras, training etc.) in mission mode to launch the scheme successfully,” the minutes have noted. A direction was also issued by the PM to the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and States/UTs that they should explore to engage ‘Ayushman Mitras’ from among the hospitals staff only. These ‘Ayushman Mitras’ will help out patients in availing cash-less benefits of insurance scheme at hospitals.
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