Cabinet nod for National Health Protection Mission 'Ayushman Bharat'

Tata Trusts

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The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, March 21 approved amending the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016 to provide for rights of a child born through surrogacy equal to those of a natural or biological child, and mandate the registration of surrogacy clinics with the appropriate state authorities. Over 10 crore families and 50 crore people are expected to benefit. The benefit cover will also include pre and post-hospitalisation expenses. "A defined transport allowance per hospitalization will also be paid to the beneficiary".

AB-NHPM will be an entitlement based scheme with entitlement decided on the basis of deprivation criteria in the SECC database, it said.

The different categories in rural areas include families with only one room with kucha walls and kucha roofs, families having no adult member between age 16 to 59, and female-headed households with no adult male member between age 16 to 59, among others.

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Also, families with disabled members and no able-bodied adult member, SC/ST households, and landless households deriving major part of their income from manual casual labour, will be entitled under the scheme. The beneficiaries will be able to get free and cashless health insurance benefit at any public or private hospital across the country.

In urban areas, families in 11 occupation categories will be covered in the scheme, the note said without listing these occupations.

One of the core principles of AB-NHPM is co-operative federalism and give flexibility to States. Hospitals belonging to Employee State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) may also be empanelled based on the bed occupancy ratio parameter. They can implement it through an insurance company or directly through a trust/society or a mixed model. Jaitley had called it the "world's largest state-funded health programme".

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In partnership with NITI Aayog, a robust, modular, scalable and interoperable IT platform will be made operational which will entail a paperless, cashless transaction.

Data showed that rural households primarily depended on their household income/savings (68 percent) and on borrowings (25 percent).

Once implemented, the ambitious scheme is expected to lower the out of pocket expenditure on healthcare for people as in-patient hospitalisation cost rose by almost 300% in India in the last 10 years.

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