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India launches world's biggest healthcare program
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The Finance Minister Mr. Arun Jaitley on 1st February 2018 unveiled a new National Health Protection Scheme under which a health coverage of upto Rs 5 lakh per family will offered for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization.

"This will be the world's largest government funded health care programme," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in his address soon after the Budget speech. The government will also establish 1.5 lakh Health and Wellness Centres centres under the Ayushman Bharat program. "We are all aware that lakhs of families in our country have to borrow or sell assets to receive indoor treatment in hospitals. Government is seriously concerned about such impoverishment of poor and vulnerable families," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in his speech.

1. The Finance Minister said that these centres will provide comprehensive health care, including for non-communicable diseases and maternal and child health services.

2. These centres will also provide free essential drugs and diagnostic services.

3. The union government has committed Rs 1200 crore in this budget for this flagship programme.

4. The government also invited contribution from the private sector through CSR and philanthropic institutions in adopting these centres.

5. "Present Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana ( RSBY ) provide annual coverage of only Rs 30,000 to poor families. Several State Governments have also implemented/supplemented health protection schemes providing varying coverage. My Government has now decided to take health protection to more aspirational level," the Finance Minister said.

6. These two far-reaching initiatives under the Ayushman Bharat will build a New India 2022 and ensure enhanced productivity, well being and avert wage loss and impoverishment. These Schemes will also generate lakhs of jobs, particularly for women. The Government is steadily but surely progre ssing towards the goal of Universal Health Coverage.

7. In order to further enhance accessibility of quality medical education and health care, we will be setting up 24 new Government Medical Colleges and Hospitals by upgrading existing district hospitals in the country.

8.This would ensure that there is at least 1 Medical College for every 3 Parliamentary Constituencies and at least 1 Government Medical College in each State of the country.

9. Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Beema Yojana (PMJJBY) has benefitted 5.22 crore families with a life insurance cover of Rs 2 lakh on payment of a premium of only Rs 330/-per annum.

10. Likewise, under Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana, 13 crore 25 lakh persons have been insured with personal accident cover of Rs 2 lakh on payment of a premium of only Rs 12 per annum. The Government will work to cover all poor households, including SC/ST households, under these in a mission mode.


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