Budget 2019: Government increases allocation for Ayushman Bharat to Rs 6,400 crore

An additional Rs 156 crore is expected to come from the budgetary allocation for the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) as PMJAY is expected to replace it, a senior government official told ET on condition of anonymity.

NEW DELHI:The government has allocated Rs 6,400 crore for the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) for 2019-20. Known popularly as Ayushman Bharat, the health scheme received a Rs 4,000-crore boost from the last fiscal.

An additional Rs 156 crore is expected to come from the budgetary allocation for the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) as PMJAY is expected to replace it, a senior government official told ET on condition of anonymity.

At the same time, the allocation seems to fall around Rs 1,000 crore short of the Centre’s demand for the ambitious health protection scheme, said persons directly aware of the development.


PMJAY promises an annual health cover of Rs 5 lakh each to over 100 million families in India. This is expected to benefit 500 million of the country’s poorest individuals.

“Already close to 10 lakh (1 million) patients have benefited for medical treatment, which would have cost them Rs 3,000 crore, through free treatment made available under the scheme,” finance minister Piyush Goyal said on Friday.

Senior officials told ET the Centre was expecting around Rs 7,400 crore to implement the scheme in the next financial year, while Rs 10,000 crore would be required the year after.
ADVERTISEMENT

Higher allocation towards Ayushman Bharat is on expected lines as the rollout of the scheme will be for a full year as against 5 months last year. Besides, the higher spend is also going to be driven by expanded rollout of the scheme this fiscal year", said Kaustav Ganguli, MD, Alvares and Marsel.


Given the earlier government estimates of the premium required to cover each household, the current allocation is not sufficient to serve even 50 million beneficiary families, according to Indranil Mukhopadhyay, associate professor at Jindal Global University’s School of Government and Public Policy.

“Even if most of the states use the trust model, this is going to consume a lot of money and would require several times the current allocation for all beneficiaries to be covered in a year’s time,” he told ET.

ADVERTISEMENT
The Ayushman National Health Agency implementing PMJAY, however, claimed the current allocation is enough to meet its requirements. “We should be able to manage within the budget. If more states join, we will request for additional allocation,” said Indu Bhushan, CEO of Ayushman NHA.

“We will have a better sense about the uptake and possibility of remaining states joining the scheme by June. For the current states, the allocated amount is more than sufficient,” he told ET.

ADVERTISEMENT
While states like Odisha and Delhi have not participated in PMJAY till date, some like West Bengal and Chhattisgarh have pulled out of it.

In the last five years, the Modi government has tried to make healthcare one of its cornerstones of welfare policy. “By 2030, we will work towards a distress-free healthcare and a functional and comprehensive wellness system for all,” Goyal said.
READ MORE
ADVERTISEMENT

READ MORE:

LOGIN & CLAIM

50 TIMESPOINTS

More from our Partners

Loading next story
Text Size:AAA
Success
This article has been saved

*

+