Dr Tamilisai Soundarajan, Governor of Telangana and Lieutenant Governor of the Union Territory of Puducherry lauded the world’s largest government-funded healthcare scheme, the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana while speaking at the third edition Ayushman Bharat e-conclave 2.0 organised by the Integrated Health and Wellbeing (IHW) Council in support with NITI Aayog. Dr Soundarajan spoke at the virtual event that also saw the participation of many eminent doctors and healthcare experts from across the country. Highlighting the government’s steadfast commitment in reaching out to the more vulnerable citizens of this country in mitigating their astronomical out-of-pocket health expenses through the Ayushman Bharat scheme, Dr Soundarajan said, “The fact that more people are coming forward to embrace such a life-changing healthcare scheme is testament to the Government of India’s commitment in ensuring an equitable healthcare access for all and sundry.”
Highlighting how Ayushman Bharat Yojana has been a resounding success in Telangana and Puducherry, Dr Soundarajan added, “Both Telangana and Puducherry have shown that by implementing the Ayushman Bharat scheme, everyone got benefitted and therein lies the greatness of the former.” Shedding light on how the Ayushman Bharat health scheme has proved to be life-altering for the poor and vulnerable citizens of India, Dr Y.K. Gupta, President, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Bhopal, said, “Even a few years back, hardly anyone knew what this scheme is all about and there was a palpable reluctance among people to avail it. However, just like it happens with every successful product, people have understood what Ayushman Bharat stands for and how it benefits everyone. That’s the greatest success story of Ayushman Bharat Yojana to me.”
Echoing the sentiments of Dr Gupta, Dr Nitin Nagarkar, Director, AIIMS, Raipur said, “The Ayushman Bharat Yojana is indeed a revolutionary step in ensuring that more Indians are healthier and productive. Although the challenges remain, I am extremely optimistic that in the days to come, Ayushman Bharat Scheme will reach its desired goal.”
“The very objective of the Ayushman Bharat scheme was to significantly reduce the out-of-pocket expenses of those who cannot afford to meet their medical expenses otherwise. The level of awareness that people have of Ayushman Bharat makes me extremely confident that more people will be eventually reached. The journey forward is definitely promising,” said Dr Madan Gopal, Senior Consultant (Health), NITI Aayog.
“Most of us are already aware that India witnesses a higher rate of Communicable and Non-communicable diseases. And tens of thousands of Indians bear terrible socio-economic consequences while paying for hospitalization charges. It is also estimated that millions of Indians are pushed into poverty due to astronomical out-of-pocket expenses. In this backdrop of such a complex reality, the Ayushman Bharat scheme (PM-JAY) came into existence. And in just three years of its existence, the scheme has immensely contributed to addressing the mounting challenge of equitable healthcare access for the poor of the country, said Mr. Kamal Narayan, CEO, IHW Council.
“Not only the Ayushman Bharat scheme facilitated approximately 2.2 crore hospital admissions worth Rs 26,450 crore through a network of nearly 24,000 empanelled hospitals across the country, however, most importantly, over 8.3 lakh COVID-19 cases were treated under the Ayushman Bharat scheme in these two years of a global pandemic that took a major toll on health and lives of people, “Mr Narayan added.
Some of the other dignitaries and stalwarts from the field of medical science who joined the Ayushman Bharat e-Conclave 2.0 were Dr Jitu Lal Meena, Division Head of Service Provider Engagement & Joint Director, National Health Authority, Dr. Rathan Kelkar IAS, Mission Director, National Health Mission, Government of Kerala, Mr Nishant Jain, Program Director, German International Corporation (GIZ), Mr Bhaskar Katamneni, IAS, Commissioner, Health & Family Welfare and Mission Director, National Health Mission, Government of Andhra Pradesh, Dr. Shuchin Bajaj, Founder Director, Cygnus Hospitals & Expert Market Access Program, PM-JAY, Dr Sudeep Gupta, Director-ACTREC & Professor of Medical Oncology, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, Dr Jugal Kishore, Director, Professor & HoD, Community Medicine Vardhman Mahavir Medical College & Safdarjung Hospital, Dr Padma Srivastava, Head, Neurosciences Centre AIIMS, New Delhi, Dr Kuldeep Singh, Academic Health, School of Public Health AIIMS, Jodhpur, Mr Mohammad Ameel, Head – Primary Healthcare, Technology & Innovations, PATH, Dr Hema Divakar, CEO of ARTIST and FOGSI Ambassador to The International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Mr Ajey Maharaj, Head – Corporate Communications & PR, Fortis Healthcare, Dr Narendra Sinha, State Consultant – Ayushman Bharat, National Health Mission, Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Chhattisgarh, Mr E Kumar Sharma, Deputy Editor- FE Digital, The Indian Express Group.