More private than govt hospitals in Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana

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PMJAY, Ayushman Bharat

A little over two months after launch, more than 50% of enrolled hospitals are private hospitals, data show

Even as doubts persist about the package rates under Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) and the availability of private hospitals in underserved rural areas, a little over a month since its launch, more private hospitals have empanelled with the National Health Agency than government hospitals.

Till end of October, of the 14129 empanelled hospitals, 7789 are private. PMJAY, under which 10.74 crore families will get an annual health cover of Rs 5 lakh was launched by prime minister Narendra Modi on September 23. During the run-up to the launch several big private hospital chains had complained that the package rates are way too low, sometimes lower even than the Central Government Health Scheme rates and are unviable. The total number of beneficiaries so far verified are 2,85,300.

Data available with the National Health Agency show that the top five states in terms of claims cleared are Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and West Bengal.

So far about 30 states have agreed to join the scheme and have rolled it out to some extent. However much to the chagrin of the National Health Agency, Delhi continues to stay out of the scheme. The scheme has national portability so any person from any state can be treated from a hospital in any other state. However till Delhi officially joins, the only hospitals in Delhi which are part of the scheme are All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Safdarjung and Ram Manohar Lohia.

Though states joined the scheme at their own pace, many late joinees have managed to pick up quite a bit. Data available with the National Health Agency show that the top five states in terms of claims cleared are Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and West Bengal. Maharashtra was among the last few to join the scheme before launch. West Bengal too joined only about two months before launch.

Officials say how states have fared is a function of many things including whether they already had similar schemes running. Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Bengal had states schemes so the infrastructure was already in place for the rollout.

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