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  • Ayushman Bharat Range of Services Likely to be Expanded in Apr-2020

    Published on March 25, 2020

    As we all know, the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) is a government scheme that provides primary healthcare to the poor and vulnerable people across the country. The people entitled to use the healthcare services under the PMJAY scheme are chosen by the Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC) 2011.

    The PMJAY scheme covers a list of ailments and pre-existing diseases. It provides families entitled under the program with INR 5 lakh each every year.

    Recently, the government is planning to add another service package that includes basic oral and dental care, elderly and palliative healthcare, and emergency medical treatments at the Ayushman Bharat-Health and Wellness Centers (AB-HWCs) from April. According to the government, the guidelines for the same are in place. They are planning to roll out the program from April 14, 2020.

    As of now, there are seven service packages provided at the AB-HWCs, some of which includes child healthcare, immunization, communicable, and non-communicable diseases. Other additional programs to be added to the list include screening for mental health diseases, care for common ophthalmic and ENT issues, and emergency medical services that provide for burn trauma.

    There are over 30,690 AB-HWCs currently functioning across the country. By the end of March 2020, over 40,000 functioning HWCs are said to be set up in India. Technically, the government aims to establish 1.5 lakh HWCs by the end of the year 2022. This is to be achieved by transforming the existing sub-centers and Primary Health Centers (PHCs).

    Moreover, another program known as ‘Eat Right’ will be established under PMJAY in the coming financial year. It further has two components under it – Eat Healthy and Eat Safe.

    These two components have been established in partnership with the Food Safety kit (also known as Magic Box) and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), which is an autonomous body working under the government. The objective of this initiative is to make the people across the country aware of eating healthy and safe food.

    The “Eat Right” Initiative

    In this initiative, the entire body of AB-HWCs consisting of the Community Health Authorities, Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM), and an Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) will be trained on different aspects of health and nutrition. It would include topics such as food fortification, limiting the consumption of food that has high fats, sugar, and salt proportions, and hygiene.

    Multiple Magic Boxes will be implemented at the PHCs and UPHCs (Urban Primary Health Centers) where community team members can check and detect food adulteration with the help of the lab officials at the AB-HWCs. With this toolkit, you can spread awareness towards consuming safe and healthy food items.

    To Conclude

    The AB-PMJAY scheme has helped a significant number of people across the country to avail essential healthcare services for free. The additional service packages under the scheme will surely benefit many.

    It is noteworthy that you cannot register for the PMJAY scheme right away, but need to be eligible for the same instead. The eligibility criteria are different for rural and urban populations.

    However, once you are eligible, you can proceed with the Ayushman Bharat Yojana registration process. Upon successful registration, you and your beneficiaries will be issued an e-card that can be used to avail the health services under the scheme.