Ayushman Bhav: Health for All

Ayushman Bhav: Health for All
Posted on 17-09-2023

Ayushman Bhav: Ensuring Health for All

In 2018, the Government of India launched the Ayushman Bharat programme to address the critical need for universal health coverage. This initiative aimed to provide quality healthcare services to the impoverished and vulnerable sections of society, with the potential to alleviate poverty, enhance productivity, and promote social justice. The objectives of Ayushman Bharat PM Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) were:

  1. Reduce the financial burden of out-of-pocket healthcare expenses for beneficiaries.

  2. Improve the accessibility and affordability of healthcare services.

  3. Enhance the quality and efficiency of healthcare delivery systems.

  4. Promote preventive, promotive, and curative health interventions.

Despite its noble goals, the scheme faced several challenges:

  1. Lack of Awareness: Many potential beneficiaries, especially in rural areas, were unaware of their entitlements and how to access them, necessitating increased outreach and communication efforts.

  2. Supply-Side Constraints: Uneven distribution and availability of healthcare infrastructure and human resources, especially in remote and tribal areas, posed challenges.

  3. Reimbursement Issues: Timely and adequate reimbursement of claims to empanelled hospitals, particularly private ones, was a challenge due to delayed payments, low package rates, high denial rates, and cumbersome processes.

To further the Ayushman Bharat programme's reach and effectiveness, the Government of India launched a new campaign called "Ayushman Bhav." This campaign, inaugurated by the President on September 13, 2023, focuses on comprehensive coverage, awareness about PM-JAY, health account IDs, and healthcare services, including disease screenings and management of various illnesses like tuberculosis, hypertension, sickle cell disease, and diabetes in both villages and urban areas.

The objectives of the Ayushman Bhav Campaign are as follows:

  1. In Line with the Antyodaya Principle: The campaign aims to reach over 6.45 lakh villages and 2.55 lakh gram panchayats, adhering to the antyodaya principle, which ensures that no one is left behind in the pursuit of universal health coverage. Activities such as organ donation drives, cleanliness campaigns (swachhataabhiyan), and blood donation initiatives will facilitate this mission.

  2. To Enhance Ground Delivery Service: The campaign strengthens healthcare service delivery through three core pillars:

    a. Ayushman Apke Dwar 3.0: This pillar expands Ayushman card distribution, commencing with a country-wide drive on September 17 and running until December 3. It aims to provide Ayushman cards to around 60 crore beneficiaries under the PM-JAY scheme, ensuring that every eligible family has access to affordable healthcare services.

    b. Ayushman Sabha: These gatherings, led by village health, sanitation, and nutrition committees (VHSNCs), will promote awareness of healthcare schemes and services, educate citizens about diseases, and enhance social accountability of healthcare systems. Activities include distributing PM-JAY cards, showcasing empanelled hospitals, creating Ayushman Bharat Health Account IDs, and organizing awareness talks.

    c. Ayushman Mela: These weekly events at health and wellness centers in villages and community health centers organized by medical colleges at the block level will efficiently reach a broad audience, particularly vulnerable populations, and raise awareness about healthcare services.

The anticipated outcome of the Ayushman Bhav mission is the transformation of every village and urban ward into an Ayushman Gram Panchayat or Ayushman Urban Ward, achieving holistic and sustainable development at the grassroots level. The mission aims to certify villages that achieve 100% coverage of selected schemes under each pillar.

In conclusion, Ayushman Bhav embodies India's commitment to delivering comprehensive healthcare coverage, reflecting the nation's dedication to ensuring robust health for every citizen. It aligns with the ancient wisdom of the country, emphasizing the importance of healthcare as a service to humanity.

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