Union ministries have heeded the call from the Union Cabinet to support the Government’s flagship health initiative Ayushman Bharat. More than 200 hospitals under the purview of different Union ministries at the central level have been empanelled under the scheme, according to reports.
In December, the Union Cabinet wrote to the National Health Authority and Union ministries concerning Ayushman Bharat – officially known as the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY). Stressing the need for more hospitals to be empanelled under the PMJAY, the Union Cabinet urged ministries and other government agencies to empanel hospitals under their ambit in a bid to expand coverage, arguing that all publicly-run hospitals ought to be part of Ayushman Bharat.
Union ministries and government agencies including the Union Ministry of Railways, the Steel Authority of India, the Central Armed Police Forces, and Coal India Limited were onboard with the Government’s plans, a senior NHA official reported at the time. It has since been announced that Union ministries have brought 204 hospitals on board with Ayushman Bharat to provide services under the scheme.
“We have received a good response from central government ministries,” commented Dr J. L. Meena, general manager of hospital networking and quality assurance under Ayushman Bharat. “By empanelling public Hospitals under ministries, the number of empanelled public hospitals with AB PM-JAY will increase and beneficiaries will be able to receive information closer to their homes. This is also helpful for universal health coverage with quality healthcare service.”
Approximately 91 hospitals have been brought on board with the scheme from the Railways Ministry; 44 from the Home Affairs Ministry; 31 from the Coal Ministry; fourteen from the Ministry of Steel; thirteen from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare; seven from the Ministry of Defence; and one from the Ministry of Mines. In addition, it was earlier reported that fourteen hospitals under the ambit of the Steel Authority of India would be involved in the scheme.