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Ayushman Bharat implementation flounders in Delhi

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Rohit Shishodia

Even as the central government is planning to launch the second phase of the Ayushman Bharat National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS) soon, the chances of its implementation in Delhi seem bleak due to differences between the Central and Delhi governments.

Under Ayushman Bharat, some fifty crore poor individuals across India are expected to receive Rs five lakh insurance cover for treatment in government and private hospitals.

Dr Kirti Bhushan, Director General Health Services, Delhi, informed that MoU on Ayushman Bharat between Central and Delhi government is yet to be signed by the Delhi government, which has opposed the scheme's implementation in the national capital.

Dr Bhushan said that the central government is taking socio economic data of 2011 for providing benefits under NHPC. In Delhi, this data covers merely thirty lakh people. Many people who are poor and eligible will be deprived of Ayushman Bharat benefit if this data is applied in Delhi.

β€œThe scheme will cover only six lakh families that translates into thirty lakh people. These numbers are well below the one crore and eighty lakh population of Delhi,” added Dr Bhushan.

β€œWe have suggested to officials of the health ministry to include National Food Security Card Holders and people who use two kilowatt power in Delhi for giving benefits under Ayushman Bharat. If they include these people under the scheme in Delhi, the number could roughly go up to one crore and twenty lakh,” explained Dr Bhushan.

The Indian health ministry has not rejected or approved this suggestion.

Dr Bhusan said if central government does not agrees on this suggestion then Delhi government will bring its own universal health insurance coverage scheme under which National Food Security Card holders and consumers of up to two kilowatt power will be included.

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