New Delhi, February 4: The government on Monday said four states of Delhi, West Bengal, Odisha and Telangana have not yet implemented the ambitious Ayushman Bharat Yojana due to which the poor in these states are unable to derive benefits of comprehensive healthcare facilities. Health and Family Welfare Minister Harsh Vardhan said he has personally talked to chief ministers and health ministers of these states and urged them to implement the scheme to help benefit the poor. He, however, said no action has been taken against any state not joining the scheme as India has a federal system.
“There are four states which have not joined this scheme. Besides Delhi, these are West Bengal, Odisha and Telangana,” he informed the Rajya Sabha during Question Hour. “Our government has requested these states and I have written and urged the chief ministers and health ministers of these states, after meeting them personally, to implement the scheme, as the poor in states like Delhi are bereft of benefits of the healthcare Ayushman scheme.
“We will keep on insisting. We again appeal to these four states to join the scheme in the larger interest of healthcare. This will also help reduce their burden as the central government shares the burden with state governments in the scheme,” he said. “We have a federal system. We cannot take any action against states. We can try and persuade them to join then scheme and we are trying that,” Vardhan said. To a question on whether the government was considering to implement the scheme in Delhi through the local Municipal Corporation, the minister said there is no such talk yet but the government will find whether it is technically possible.
“Mechanism has been developed to implement the scheme in consultation with state governments. There is no discussion yet to implement the scheme bypassing states and implement it through municipal corporations. We can check whether it is technically possible,” he said. While the Aam Aadmi Party has its government in Delhi, the BJP is in power in the MCD in Delhi. The three other states which have not yet joined the scheme are also non-BJP ruled states.
The minister also informed the House that the government is also using technology, including artificial intelligence, to detect fraud or negligence in various hospitals. Vardhan said as per the 2011 list, there are a total of 10.74 crore families who are potential beneficiaries under the Ayushman Bharat scheme and the allocation of funds has been done on the basis of number of beneficiaries in each state. “There is need for more proactive approach to help increase the beneficiaries.
As many as 80 lakh people have been hospitalised under the scheme,” he said. The central government has held discussions with the highest levels in state governments and urged them to implement the scheme. The Ayushman Bharat Yojana comprises two components namely – Provision of Comprehensive Primary Healthcare through Ayushman Bharat – Health and Wellness Centers (AB- HWC), and Ayushman Bharat- Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB- PMJAY). In response to another question, the minister said enough resources have been allotted under the scheme and the government has already created 29,650 wellness centres and the target of making 40,000 wellness centres by end of this year has been set and over 1.5 lakh such centres by 2022.
The health minister said all states are benefiting under the scheme and the Ayushman scheme has been lauded the world over, including by the WHO. “That is why we are keen that all states, including these four should join the scheme,” he said. Vardhan said the central government has worked pro- actively with states and 12.21 crore health cards have been made across the country. He said anyone can get a health card by registering at call centres.