India will have 40,000 Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centers (AB-HWC), meant for primary health care, by the end of 2019-20, Union minister Harsh Vardhan informed the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday. He added over 19,000 AB-HWCs are at present operating in the country.
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The minister told the Upper House that, “The target for operationalizing AB-HWCs by the end of 2019-20 is 40,000. Out of these, as reported by the states and Union Territories, 19,567 AB-HWCs have been operationalized till July 5, 2019.”
The government is supporting the Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centers for strengthening primary health centers in states for promotive and preventive health care.
In a written Vardhan said, “The AB-HWCs are envisioned to provide an expanded range of services, including care for non-communicable diseases as well as prevention, and health promotion and wellness activities like Yoga apart from services already being provided for maternal and child health, including immunization and communicable diseases.”
In order to provide comprehensive health coverage to the beneficiaries, free essential drugs, and diagnostic services are also being provided through AB-HWCs said the health minister. He also added that AB-HWCs services are free and universal to all.
Under the Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) number of hospitals impaneled, another component of the Ayushman Bharat Yojana, there are over 15,000 hospitals under the scheme, the minister replied that as on July 11.
“Under AB-PMJAY, state governments impanel hospitals within their jurisdiction to provide care to the identified beneficiary families. As on July 11, 2019, 15,965 hospitals, with 7,997 private and 7,968 public establishments, have been impaneled under the Yojana,” said Vardhan.
He added, “No targets for empanelment of hospitals have been set.”
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for implementation of AB-PMJAY has been signed with 33 states and Union Territories said the BJP leader.
He informed the Parliament, “Only Delhi, Odisha and Telangana have not signed the MoU. At present, the scheme is operational in 30 states/UTs. The implementation of the scheme has been rolled back in West Bengal by the state government. These states have not cited any particular reason for the non-implementation of the scheme.”
1,393 benefit packages along with their rates have been put in place for usage of hospitals impaneled under the scheme AB-PMJAY, the minister said on a question about fixing of rates for the procedures.
He said these rates were decided as per the recommendations of a committee headed by Director General Health Services, Government of India and peer-reviewed by NITI Aayog.
The health minister added, “The recommendations of the committee were based on a series of consultations with various stakeholders, including medical professionals, AIIMS, hospital associations, and industry bodies. The package rates are indicative in nature and states have the flexibility to decrease or increase up to 10 percent depending on their suitability.”
He concluded, AB-PMJAY is an entitlement-based scheme with the entitlement being decided on the basis of deprivation and occupational criteria in the Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) database.
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