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COVID-19 Testing, treatment is free for Ayushman Bharat beneficiaries

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On April 4, 2020 the National Health Authority (NHA) announced that more than 50 crore eligible citizens under the health insurance scheme of  Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) will avail free testing through private labs and treatment for COVID-19 in empanelled hospitals to increase the supply of testing and treatment facilities in the country. This is in addition to the free availability of testing and treatment for COVID-19 in public facilities.Covid 19 Testing, treatment now available for free under Ayushman Bharat SchemeKey Points

i.The empanelled hospitals under the AB-PMJAY can use their own authorised testing facilities or tie up with an authorised testing facility & the test will be carried out as per protocols of the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) and by private labs approved or registered by ICMR.

ii.According to the ICMR guidelines for COVID-19 testing by private laboratories, the testing is to be conducted by a laboratory which has National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL)  for real-time polymerase chain reaction assay for a ribonucleic acid virus.

Gist about AB-PMJAY

  • This scheme was launched on the recommendation of the National Health Policy 2017 to achieve the vision of Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
  • It is designed to meet Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) &  to undertake interventions to address the healthcare system (covering prevention, promotion and ambulatory care) at the primary, secondary and tertiary level.
  • It comprises of 2 initiatives namely- Health and Wellness Centres (HWC) & Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY)
  • It provides a defined benefit cover of Rs. 5 lakh per family per year which allows it to take cashless benefits from any public or private empanelled hospitals.
  • The eligibility criteria of the scheme is based on the deprived criteria in the Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) Data Summary 2011.

About NABL:
It is a constituent board of quality council in the country and is established to provide a compliance rating system for government, industry associations and industry.
Headquarters– Gurugram,Haryana
Chairman– S.K. Joshi