Topic of the Day – Ayushman Bharat Programme

UPSC Exam Preparation: Topic of the Day – Ayushman Bharat Programme

Two major initiatives have been announced in the health sector as a part of the Ayushman Bharat Programme. With the objective of progressing towards universal health coverage.


Health and Wellness Centre:

Health and Wellness Centres have been envisioned as the foundation of India’s health system under the National Health Policy, 2017. Under this 5 lakh centres will bring health care system closer to the homes of people. These centres will provide comprehensive health care, including child health services, maternal and non-communicable diseases. Free diagnostic services and free essential drugs will also be provided in these centres. Rs. 1200 Crore has been allocated in the Union Budget – 2018 for this flagship programme. Contribution of private sector through philanthropic institutions  and Corporate Social Responsibility in adopting these centres is also envisaged.


National Health Protection Scheme:-

The second flagship programme under Ayushman Bharat is National Health Protection Scheme. It will cover approximately 50 crore beneficiaries over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families providing coverage upto 5 lakh rupees per family each year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization. This will be the world’s largest government funded health care programme. The mega health insurance scheme for the poor will give the sector a big boost.


  • In order to further enhance accessibility of quality medical education and health care, 24 new Government Medical Colleges and Hospitals will be set up, by up-grading existing district hospitals in the country.
  • Ensuring that there is at least 1 Medical College for every 3 Parliamentary Constituencies and at least 1 Government Medical College in each State of the country.
  • The Finance Minister further said, that these two health sector initiatives under Ayushman Bharat Programme will build a New India 2022 and ensure enhanced productivity, wellbeing and avert wage loss and impoverishment. These Schemes will also generate lakhs of jobs, particularly for women.
  • The Economic Survey has flagged the heavy cost that treatment at private hospitals had imposed on people two years ago, underlining that the average cost of treatment in private hospitals was about four times than that of public healthcare facilities.
  • Citing a national survey report, the Economic Survey has pointed that people had to spend an average Rs. 26,000 for treatment per hospitalised case in private facilities.

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