JAMMU: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday launched Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY SEHAT through video conference to extend coverage to all residents of Jammu & Kashmir.
Talking about the scheme, the Prime Minister said that getting free treatment up to Rs 5 lakh under this scheme would improve the ease of living.
Right now about 6 lakh families are getting the benefit of Ayushman Bharat Scheme. All 21 lakh families living in J&K will get the same benefit after the SEHAT scheme. Another benefit of this scheme would be that treatment is not limited to government and private hospitals in Jammu and Kashmir only. Rather, treatment can be availed from thousands of hospitals empanelled under this scheme in the country, he added.
The Prime Minister lauded the J&K administration for steps of people’s welfare and accentuating overall development in the region.
The Prime Minister termed the extension of the coverage to all the residents as historic and expressed happiness seeing Jammu and Kashmir take these steps for the development of its people. He said that development of the people of Jammu and Kashmir is one of the biggest priorities of his government.
During his address, the Lieutenant Governor of Jammu & Kashmir, Manoj Sinha termed the launch of SEHAT Scheme as a glorious chapter of J&K’s history. One crore residents of J&K who were not eligible under Ayushman Bharat scheme would now be benefitted making it a first of its kind scheme in India, he added.
Underscoring the key features of the Health scheme, the Lt Governor observed that the SEHAT Scheme will provide financial cover upto Rs 5 lakh per family on a floater basis to all residents of the UT of J&K with benefits portable across the country, without cap on family size. A beneficiary can avail free and cashless treatment in any public and private empanelled hospitals across the country, he said.
On behalf of the 1.3 crore population of the Union Territory, the Lt Governor extended his gratitude to the Prime Minister for extending the Universal Health Coverage in J&K.
Speaking on successful conduct of the recently held DDC elections, the Lt Governor observed that for the first time in the history of J&K, the 3-Tier Panchayati Raj System in the UT has been established empowering the grass root democracy.
PM’s directions of holding free and fair elections were ensured and the DDC elections were held smoothly and peacefully in the UT, he maintained.
The people of Jammu and Kashmir have manifested their faith in the democratic process. Youth, Women, Elders of J&K have voted for strengthening grass root democracy and paving way for progressive future of the UT, observed the Lt Governor.
He also lauded the State Election Commission, J&K Police, and Security Forces, all on-duty officers/officials for ensuring successful and peaceful conduct of the elections. After a long time, the elections were conducted peacefully in J&K and the credit goes to the Prime Minister, the Home Minister and the people of J&K, he added.
The elected DDC representatives will take oath on December 28 under the Constitution of India and soon they will elect the DDC Chairmen. I am confident that the elected representatives will complement the Government’s efforts, and this coordinated effort will give momentum to the developmental process in J&K, said the Lt Governor.
Speaking on present Health scenario, the Lt Governor observed that health indicators in J&K have recorded improvements. COVID Vaccination distribution plans have been prepared. Neonatal mortality rate has dropped to 9.8 per thousand births, after a drop of 13.3 points. Two AIIMS, at Samba and Pulwama, are under construction. 5 new Medical Colleges have already been started and another 2 will be functional by March 2022.
For improving the health sector in J&K, among the 140 projects sanctioned by the Government, 75 are already completed and another 26 of them will be completed by March next year. Work is underway on two Cancer Institutes; 416 Ambulances have been dedicated for the public services, said the Lt Governor
The Lt Governor observed that J&K is entering a golden era of development. Transparent, accountable and responsive governance is being ensured and new avenues in various sectors are being provided with unprecedented progress achieved in all the schemes.
Jammu Kashmir ranks top in construction of PMGSY roads. Languishing projects under various schemes are being expedited and 110 such projects have been completed on priority by the UT administration. Under the Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP), 20 major infrastructure projects have been completed and 16 more will be completed by March 2021, he added.
More than 22 lakh persons are being provided benefits under various Social Welfare schemes. Through ‘Block Diwas’ and ‘Jan Abhiyaan’ activities, people have been provided domicile certificates, pension certificates, scholarships and benefits of various other centrally sponsored schemes. 95% saturation has been achieved under all 54 centrally sponsored schemes by the UT administration, said the Lt Governor.
Support and assistance is being provided to the poor, the labourers and the scheduled tribes without any lapse. On spot redressal of public grievance is being done as a regular practice by the UT administration, he maintained.
The metro rail projects of Jammu and Srinagar cities are also expected to be completed within the next three years. 20-Point Reforms have been introduced to help micro industries and businesses flourish. For the first time in history, the tribal community of J&K has been provided forest rights and a new chapter of their development is being written, he continued.
Youth from each and every village of J&K is coming forward to be part of the nation’s progress under the Prime Minister’s vision of ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’; 11 thousand government vacancies are being filled by the administration and 13 thousand more are in the pipeline. A committee has already been set up to identify and fill in vacancies in all the departments, the Lt Governor maintained.
The Skill Development Centre at Baramulla, established by the UT administration in association with TATA, is functioning and another centre at Jammu will be functional by February next year.
The Lt Governor informed that 10.7 lakh farmers of Jammu and Kashmir have been provided financial assistance under PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi. J&K is first in India to have been provided 100% coverage under the scheme. Kashmir saffron has been issued GI tag and many other products of J&K are also on the way to get their own GI tags.
Elaborating on the efforts being made by the UT Government for rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandit community back in the valley, the Lt Governor informed that sanction has been provided to fill almost 6000 vacancies; and 6000 thousand houses will be ready within next one and a half year for their accommodation.
On tourism, the Lt Governor observed that the tourism sector in J&K is coming back on track and bookings of hotels at Pahalgam and Gulmarg are already saturated. On the 24th of this month, more than a thousand visitors from various cities of India have reached by air.
The Mubarak Mandi Palace at Jammu and the Shergarhi Palace at Srinagar are also being restored. Under the Swadesh Darshan programme, 11 projects have been readied and another 20 projects will be completed by March next year, he added.
Later, the Lt Governor also distributed health cards to the beneficiaries.
Speaking on the occasion, Advisor to the Lt Governor, Farooq Khan said that SEHAT scheme is a revolutionary step towards achieving healthcare for all. At this historic juncture when we are launching the SEHAT scheme, we must appreciate the selfless services of our Corona Warriors also, he added.
Advisor to the Lt Governor, Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, during his address, termed SEHAT as a new milestone in the health sector of J&K. He said that the scheme will ensure that even the poorest of the poor gets quality treatment in hospitals free of cost.
Advisor to the Lt Governor, Baseer Ahmad Khan who also joined from Kashmir through virtual mode said that SEHAT Scheme would ensure quality and affordable essential health services to the people of J&K.
“We aspire for a healthy, prosperous and educated Jammu and Kashmir and are moving towards our goals remarkably. SEHAT will be a milestone for it,” remarked the Chief Secretary, BVR Subrahmanyam.
In his address, Financial Commissioner Health & Medical Education Department, Atal Dulloo said that J&K has achieved remarkable achievements in almost all health indicators and now SEHAT scheme has come as a win-win situation for both the people of J&K as well as our Health institutions.