JAMMU: Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) scheme has emerged as a ray of hope for numerous poor families who cannot afford health treatment at prestigious and premier medical institutes of the country.
The Jammu and Kashmir administration, in its endeavor to provide optimum benefit of this miraculous healthcare scheme to people of Jammu and Kashmir, launched the SEHAT scheme in convergence with AB-PMJAY by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.
J&K government’s efforts supported by central government have done a commendable job in providing succour to all sections of the society through a network of innovative and people friendly programmes launched in the UT. Jammu and Kashmir being demographically disadvantages and inaccessible location received focused attention of both the governments in welfare and development of people here.
Pankaj Kumar, a 26 year old youth, who since his childhood had been working in the fields of his fellow villagers to feed his family, feels privileged to narrate his tale of struggle in getting his leg surgery done free of cost through AB PMJAY Sehat scheme.
Narrating his ordeals, Kumar recalled that how distressed and hapless he was when he got his leg broken while working in his house to repair the wall of his courtyard. “I was extremely shattered after this accident and was more than worried about my old parents; who will look after them now,” Kumar said. “Doctors asked my family to arrange money for surgery of my leg. I knew we had no savings and it was beyond my reach to meet the expenses for my treatment”, Kumar added.
Then, I came to know about Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) scheme through one of my neighbors which came as a ray of hope for the whole family making an end to our woes.
After completing all the requisite formalities, a golden card was issued in my favour and I had my surgery under PMAY SEHAT card free of cost. “It was not less than a miracle, SEHAT card helped us a lot, as our financial condition was not good and my treatment was almost impossible without this scheme,” he maintained while expressing gratitude to Center and UT government for launching this poor friendly scheme.
As per official figures around 29 Lakh beneficiaries have been registered so far in Jammu division. The Health Department has expedited the registration process as the Lieutenant Governor of J&K, Manoj Sinha has set the deadline for March 31, 2022 for completing the registration process.
It is pertinent to mention here that Ayushman Bharat, a flagship scheme of the Government of India, was launched as recommended by the National Health Policy 2017, to achieve the vision of Universal Health Coverage (UHC). This initiative has been designed to meet Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and its underlying commitment, which is to “leave no one behind.” The main aim behind the scheme is to extend health insurance coverage to all residents of Jammu and Kashmir.
The SEHAT scheme provides health insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh per family per year to all the residents at empanelled hospitals. The scheme covers medical procedures including oncology, cardiology, nephrology etc and covers up to three days of pre-hospitalization and fifteen days post-hospitalization expenses including diagnostics and medicines.
In yet another pro-people initiative, the State Health Agency (SHA) started an initiative ‘Gaon Gaon Ayushman’ to reach out to even last mile villages which remain cut from the rest of the world due to adverse weather conditions so as to percolate the benefits of the scheme down to every beneficiary.
To ensure hassle-free registration of all eligible beneficiaries under the scheme, the SHA set up a network of more than 8000 Common Service Centres (CSCs). The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) is being stationed in villages for ensuring 100% registration and awareness activities at the grassroots level in association with PRI representatives and ASHA workers.
In the remote Kandi block of Rajouri, officials used to trek 6 and more hours to register locals for golden card under AB- PMJAY SEHAT scheme.
“This is really a poor friendly scheme which proved to be a boon for those who could not afford expensive treatments due to lack of money. With this scheme now even poor can get high quality treatment even in private hospitals,” Abdul Razaq Khan, a local resident of Rajouri said while showering praise over present dispensation for launching this unique scheme.
Abdul Majeed Ganie, a poor resident of Yaripora village, is another beneficiary of this marvelous healthcare scheme who also termed the initiative as an incredible help to those who just could not even think of expensive treatments and rather used to succumb to their ailments for lack of necessary finances.
“I will always remain indebted to hospital administration who informed me about the scheme and central and UT government for launching this scheme for poor,” Ganie assered.
Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha, said that the J&K government is committed towards accomplishing the goal of best healthcare for all. “We are determined to ensure that the new healthcare facilities in various districts promote social equality and its benefits reach our brothers and sisters living in far-flung areas”, Lieutenant Governor maintained
“Earlier, a privileged few were enjoying medical facilities in big cities and abroad while the majority of the population did not have access even to ordinary health care facilities. But with the commitment towards public health, we ensured high quality medicare for all”, Sinha asserted.