Public Health being a State subject, response to COVID-19 pandemic is primarily directed by State Governments. National Health Authority has been providing necessary support to States/UTs for ensuring free COVID-19 testing and treatment to all eligible beneficiaries under Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY).
When COVID-19 pandemic started, initially existing treatment packages were used for providing COVID related treatment. Later, special packages for treatment and testing of COVID-19 were introduced. Many State Governments decided to make COVID-19 testing & treatment free for all residents. While some of them used Ayushman Bharat PMJAY ecosystem including the NHA’s IT platform, others used their own IT systems. Therefore, COVID-19 treatments have been captured in both general and COVID-19 specific packages of AB-PMJAY.
In the past two years, approximately 8.3 Lakh hospital admissions have been authorized for the treatment of COVID-19 under Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY). This is with respect to transactions recorded on the NHA IT platform as well as the information shared by States, using their own IT systems.
Benefits of the scheme are portable across the country i.e. a beneficiary (rural/urban) can visit any empanelled public or private hospital in India to avail cashless treatment. Therefore, urban-rural bifurcation is not maintained for the beneficiaries, who have availed COVID-19 treatment under AB-PMJAY.
Under AB-PMJAY, treatment packages are bundled and cover all aspects of treatment such as drugs, medicines, oxygen, diagnostics specific to the disease which is treated under the scheme. Further, States/UTs have been provided flexibility to customize the packages as per local requirements especially for treatment of COVID-19.
The Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar stated this in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.