Indian Medical Association signs pact with Centre on facilitating Ayushman Bharat scheme

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has signed an agreement with the Centre on facilitating implementation of Ayushman Bharat-National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM), even though differences over the package rates remain.

Finance minister Arun Jaitley in this year’s budget announced annual insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh for hospitalisation for poor and vulnerable families, benefiting 10.74 crore families. As part of the implementation process, government will be empanelling hospitals, both public and private where people will be provided cashless treatment.

“After three hours of hard negotiations IMA agreed to take up the major responsibility of facilitating the empanelment of small and medium private hospitals. The differences over the package rates remain,” said Dr Ravi S Wankhedkar, IMA president.

“The government have agreed to revise the rates in a periodic fashion with full involvement of IMA. IMA will be part of the costing mechanism. Monthly feedback mechanisms with IMA have been put in place,” he said.

IMA will be the public private interface for national health protection scheme (NHPS).

Meanwhile, the National Health Agency (NHA) under Union health ministry that is responsible for implementation of the scheme on Friday launched pilot for Beneficiary Identification System (BIS), tallying with Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) and Rashtriya Swasthya Beema Yojna (RSBY) data base.

Ayushman Bharat will target families as per SECC data, both rural and urban. Additionally, all such enrolled families under RSBY that do not feature as per SECC data will be included .

“Measures like identity validation through a mechanism like BIS will make Ayushman Bharat more accessible and transparent in approach. BIS will ensure that no entitled beneficiary will be deprived of his/her entitlement under the flagship mission,” said JP Nadda, union health minister.

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