The healthcare insurance scheme for India’s poorest families will be launched on September 25, the birth anniversary of Hindutva icon Deen Dayal Upadhyay, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday. Modi made the announcement during his Independence Day speech at the Red Fort in New Delhi.
Arun Jaitley, who was in charge of the finance ministry till earlier this year, had first announced the scheme in his Union Budget speech in February. While announcing the launch of the scheme, Modi called it the “Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Abhiyaan [Prime Minister Public Healthcare Mission]”.
The scheme aims to give annual health insurance of Rs 5 lakh to the poorest 10 crore families, and will be later extended to families from the lower middle class, the middle class and the upper middle class, Modi said.
“The government has decided to launch the Jan Aarogya Abhiyaan as part of Ayushman Bharat scheme to give healthcare to the common man, so that they can get free treatment in large hospitals for major diseases,” the prime minister said. “The scheme will benefit 10 crore families, or around 50 crore citizens.”
Modi said the scheme would be driven by technology tools to “ensure transparency and easy access to the common man”. “The testing of this technology will start today in different parts of the country and will go on for the next five to six weeks,” he said. “The testing will be done to make the technology foolproof. The scheme will then be launched on September 25.”
The scheme will open “new opportunities for the middle class and youngsters as new hospitals and medical staff requirements will come up in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities, he added.