JP Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare presided over a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signing ceremony with four states - Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand, and Union Territory of Chandigarh for implementing Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Swasthya Suraksha Mission (PMRSSM), at a regional workshop for northern states at Shimla. Jai Ram Thakur, Chief Minister, Himachal Pradesh, Trivendra Singh Rawat, Chief Minister, Uttarakhand, Brahm Mohindra, Health Minister, Punjab, Dr Devinder Kumar Manyal, Health Minister, Jammu and Kashmir, Vipin Singh Parmar, Health Minister, Himachal Pradesh, Virender Kashyap, Member of Parliament were present, along with Dr Vinod Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, Preeti Sudan, Secretary (HFW), Indu Bhushan, CEO, NHA, and the health secretaries and mission directors of the states.

Speaking at the function, JP Nadda said that “we are witnessing history as the first MoU of Ayushman Bharat is being signed here. The scheme shall be a big game changer in the healthcare”. Nadda further said that the initiatives undertaken by the Government eventually become the largest health programs of the world due to the sheer numbers in India. He cited TB and Leprosy elimination programs of the Government. “Through our programs and initiatives, we are ensuring that the healthcare is accessible, affordable and equitable,” Nadda said. Nadda further stated that Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Swasthya Suraksha Mission (PMRSSM) will protect around 50 crore people (from about 10 crore families). “It will be cashless and paperless access to services up to 5 lakhs per year will be available for the beneficiary families at the point of service in both public and private empaneled hospitals across India,” Nadda added. He further said that the beneficiaries under the scheme can avail of services anywhere in India and it is expected to bring a visible relief to the target families by mitigating the financial risk arising out of catastrophic health episodes.

The Union Health Minister further stated that health is at the center-stage and the government is looking at it holistically. He said that PMRSSM will protect the people and at the same time health and wellness centers (HWCs) will deliver comprehensive primary health care. “The H&WC would provide preventive, promotive, and curative care for non-communicable diseases, dental, mental, geriatric care, palliative care, etc. The Government has initiated universal screening of common NCDs such as diabetes, hypertension and common cancers, which will eventually help in reducing the disease burden of the country. Speaking at the function, Jai Ram Thakur, Chief Minister, Himachal Pradesh said that Ayushman Bharat in itself is a blessing. “I extend my gratitude to Hon’ble Prime Minister and Union Health Minister for giving an opportunity to host this historic signing of MoUs for the world’s largest health insurance scheme”. He further said that this will provide momentum to the Ayushman Bharat program of the government. He said that he will ensure that the program reaches to every household. He further informed that that the health indicators of the state are good and his government will further try to improve them. He said that the State now have six medical colleges and one AIIMS approved by Central Government. We are now coming up with a Medical University in the state, he added.

Speaking at the occasion Trivendra Singh Rawat, Chief Minister, Uttarakhandsaid that Ayushman Bharat is going to be a revolutionary step in the healthcare and assured all the support for its implementation in the state. He added that as per the latest census 20 lakh families will be covered under this scheme in Uttarakhand. He said that government is ensuring that every household gets medical facilities within the distance of 10 km.  Rawat also said that the gender ratio in the state has improved along with other public health facilities, including increase in the number of doctors in the state. Through these MoU, the states will formally commit to implement PMRSSM. The MoU clearly outlines roles of central and state/UT governments for the implementation of PMRSSM. Similar regional workshops are also planned in due course of time across India to sign MoU with states/UTs for rolling out of PMRSSM in each region. – PIB


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