On May 21, 2020 Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare(HFW), Harsh Vardhan to mark 1 crore treatments(milestone) of the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana(AB-PMJAY), the flagship health assurance scheme of government since September 2018 has inaugurated the 1st edition of Arogya Dhara, a series of webinars titled “Ayushman Bharat: 1 crore treatments and beyond” which is created as an open platform for discussion on topical issues of public health and launched ‘Ask Ayushman’ a chatbot on WhatsApp & “Hospital Ranking Dashboard”. Minister of State(HFW), Ashwini Kumar Choubey was present during the webinar.
- Apart from this, he released a “Special edition of the AB-PMJAY beneficiary electronic(e)-card” exhibiting the milestone of 1 crore hospital admissions
- Launched “Hindi version of the AB-PMJAY website” to enable effective connection with the masses and to empower them with access to right information through a user-friendly medium.
i.The treatments worth Rs 13,412 crore have been provided through a growing network of 21,565 public and private empanelled hospitals. The National Health Authority(NHA) is responsible for implementing the scheme.
ii.The scheme provides affordable healthcare in the form of tertiary hospital treatment to poor and vulnerable Indians through a health cover of Rs 5 lakh per family per year.
Aim of the scheme– To ensure financial risk protection to more than 10.74 crore poorest, most vulnerable families in the country and is a step forward towards achievement of Universal Health Coverage in India.
iii.The government by the Union Ministry of Health has made the test & make treatment of COVID-19 available for free to all 53 crore beneficiaries of the scheme, further strengthening the government’s resolve, scope and capability to move towards universal health coverage.
It is a chat bot on WhatsApp, which is 24*7 Artificial Intelligence(AI)-enabled assistant that provides information on various aspects of the scheme such as its benefits, features, process of making an e-card, locating the nearest empanelled hospital, sharing feedback and the process of lodging a grievance.
Key features– One of the key features is that it can understand and respond in Hindi and English languages & also provides text-to-speech features for the users and can be universally used on all major social media platforms.
Hospital Ranking Dashboard
It is a significant step to rank empanelled hospitals on the basis of beneficiaries’ feedback. The ranking will help NHA to take evidence based decision making so as to enhance the quality measures and indicators of healthcare delivery across all empanelled facilities to further improve the beneficiaries experience.
The NHA has utilised this period to enhance its IT systems, expertise and network of private sector stakeholders to support the Government’s preparedness and response in the form of managing the national COVID-19 helpline 1075 to conduct thousands of outbound calls to COVID positive patients and their families.
Harsh Vardhan– Chandni Chowk, New Delhi
Ashwini Kumar Choubey– Buxar, Bihar