The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, today launched the health assurance scheme: Ayushman Bharat - Pradhan Mantri Jan ArogyaYojana - at Ranchi, Jharkhand.The Prime Minister visited an exhibition on the scheme, before arriving on the dais to launch PMJAY at a huge public gathering.At the same event, the Prime Minister unveiled plaques to lay the Foundation Stone for medical colleges at Chaibasa and Koderma. He also inaugurated 10 Health and Wellness Centres.Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said that this launch has been done with a vision to provide the poorest of the poor, and the underprivileged sections of society, with better healthcare and treatment. He said this scheme, which envisions health assurance of 5 lakh rupees per family per year, will benefit over 50 crore people, and is the world's biggest health assurance scheme. He said the number of beneficiaries of this scheme is roughly equal to the population of the European Union, or the population of America, Canada and Mexico, taken together.He said the first part of Ayushman Bharat - the health and wellness centres, was launched on BabasahebAmbedkar's birth anniversary, and the second part - the health assurance scheme, is being launched two days before DeendayalUpadhyay's birth anniversary.
Explaining how comprehensive the PMJAY is, the Prime Minister said it would cover 1300 illnesses, including serious illnesses such as cancer and heart disease. He said private hospitals too would be part of this scheme.The Prime Minister said that the amount of 5 lakhs would cover all investigations, medicine, pre-hospitalization expenses etc. He said it would also cover pre-existing illnesses. He said that people can learn more about the scheme by dialling 14555, or through their Common Service Centre.The Prime Minister said that for the States that are a part of PMJAY, people can get the benefit of the scheme in whichever of these States they go to. He said more than 13,000 hospitals across the country have joined the scheme so far.The Prime Minister also spoke of the 10 health and wellness centres inaugurated today. He said the number of such centres across the country has reached 2300. He said the aim is to have 1.5 lakh such centres in India within four years.The Prime Minister said that the Union Government is working with a holistic approach to improve the health sector in the country. He said the focus is on both "Affordable Healthcare" and "Preventive Healthcare."The Prime Minister expressed confidence that through the efforts of all those involved with PMJAY, and the dedication of the doctors, nurses, healthcare providers, ASHAs, ANMs etc, the scheme would become a success.