Critically analyse the features of the Ayushman Bharat Scheme. Explain in detail the benefits it provides to the poor and weaker sections of the society.

Ayushman Bharat Yojana is a program which aims to create a healthy, capable and content new India. It will also focus on the poor and weaker sections of the society.
It aims to provide insurance of up to 5 lakh rupees to each family. The new scheme also intends to improve secondary and tertiary healthcare services for crores of Indians.
Features of the initiative:
There are�two flagship initiatives�under Ayushman Bharat:
�Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY):

  • Under this scheme, 1.5 lakh health sub-centres are being converted into health and wellness centres.
  • It will bring the healthcare system closer to the people.
  • The centres will provide comprehensive healthcare, including treatment for non-communicable diseases and maternal and child health services.
  • The scheme will cover more than 10 crore poor families, which is approximately 50 crore persons.
  • It will also setup wellness centres which will give poor people OPD facility near their homes.

National Health Protection Scheme:

  • The National Health Protection Scheme will cover over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families.
  • It will provide coverage up to 5 lakh rupees per family.

Criticism of Ayushman Bharat:

  • The mission is pushing for hospitalisation at secondary, and at tertiary-level private hospitals, while disregarding the need for eligible households to first access primary care.
  • It is important to note that without the stepping stone of primary health care, direct hospitalisation is a high-cost solution.

According to the Global Burden of Disease study, India is ranked low in the Healthcare index; India stands at a rank of 154. India spends less than 2% of her GDP on public healthcare. Investment in primary care would very quickly reduce the overall cost of health care for the state and for the consumer.


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