Probably the largest healthcare scheme in the world, India’s Ayushman Bharat Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-JAY), which recently completed its first year successfully, is expected to generate about 11 lakh jobs in the next five to seven years. If that happens, AB-JAY, also referred to as the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) or National Health Protection Scheme, will end up as one of the largest employers— second only to the Indian Railways.
Under AB-JAY, it is reported that about 46 lakh people have already obtained free treatment in just a year. The scheme encompasses two major health initiatives — Health and Wellness centres and the National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS).
This centrally-sponsored scheme was launched in 2018, under the Ayushman Bharat Mission of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The objective of the scheme is to positively intervene in primary, secondary and tertiary care systems, to provide holistic healthcare.
The Ayushman Bharat-National Health Protection Scheme covers more than over 10 crore poor families and about 50 crore beneficiaries. It provides an annual coverage of up to five lakh rupees per family for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation. The beneficiaries are allowed to avail cashless treatment from the empanelled hospitals across India.
The scheme also allocates Rs 1200 crore to more a lakh health and wellness centres equipped to provide comprehensive healthcare, even for non-communicable diseases, pregnant women, infants and children.