The Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) is a government-funded scheme that provides primary healthcare to the vulnerable people across the country. Under this scheme, the eligible families in India will receive up to INR 5 lakh each year.
However, not everyone is eligible to avail the healthcare benefits under the PMJAY scheme. The eligibility criteria are different for urban and rural areas. Once you and your family are eligible, you can proceed to Ayushman Bharat registration process. After successful registration, you and the beneficiaries will be issued an e-card that will allow availing of the services under the scheme.
But there have been instances where the beneficiaries were not covered under the packages due to the high cost of the treatment. So, those needing these critical services can avail financial guidance of up to INR 15 lakh under the Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi (RAN) scheme.
The PMJAY authorities have revised regulations of this umbrella scheme. This was because there was rising concern in the number of complaints from the poor people. The allegations revolved around the fact that the beneficiaries of the PMJAY scheme were not able to avail healthcare services for severe illnesses.
Therefore, a memorandum was issued to all government hospitals, regional cancer centers, health secretaries, the expense department, and the National Health Authority (NHA). In the memorandum, if any illness is not covered under the main scheme, people can avail financial assistance of up to INR 15 lakh under the RAN scheme.
So, the respective healthcare centers that are unable to treat the beneficiaries will issue a certificate declaring the same. This way, the patient can proceed to avail the financial assistance provided under the RAN scheme, as per the memorandum.
However, there have been a few complaints from people who hold the BPL card that they cannot avail the RAN scheme benefits if they have availed services under the PMJAY scheme. This is despite the fact that they are suffering from critical ailments whose treatment costs more than INR 5 lakh, which is the permissible limit under the AB-PMJAY scheme.
There have been multiple reported cases of people needing kidney transplant, bone marrow transplant, or liver transplant who cannot avail these services under the PMJAY and RAN scheme. These medical treatments cost more than INR 5 lakh.
The primary purpose of all the government-funded healthcare schemes is to benefit the poor in one way or another. Hence, a timely review of these services should be undertaken if they are not serving their said purposes. The authorities who designed these schemes should be empathetic towards the eligible beneficiaries and enable maximum guidance for the same.
If the beneficiaries of the Ayushman Bharat Yojana are unable to avail treatment at the AB-Health and Wellness Centers (AB-HWCs), they can avail the same under the RAN scheme. However, the authorities need to ensure that every poor and vulnerable individual across the country can avail the basic healthcare facility through these schemes.