GUWAHATI, May 10: Coinciding with the completion of two years of the current state government led by the Bharatiya Janata Party, chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Wednesdays launched Ayushman Asom – Mukhya Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, a family-floater health assurance scheme offering cashless medical treatment upto Rs 5 lakh per family per year.
An initiative of the government of Assam’s Department of Medical Education & Research, beneficiaries for Ayushman Asom shall be those who are listed under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) (in other words, possess ration cards linked to Aadhaar). Covering as many as 1,578 healthcare procedures in more than 300 empanelled hospitals within the state and all Ayushman Bharat-empanelled hospitals across the country, Ayushman Asom – Mukhya Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana shall initially be covering approximately 26 lakh beneficiary families which shall in phases go up to 32 lakh families.
Announcing the news on social media, CM Sarma tweeted, “Assam’s transformative healthcare is a shining example of a Double Engine Govt. The Hon PM envisaged Ayushman Bharat to universalise healthcare. To expand its ambit, today I launched Ayushman Asom. 56 lakh families will get cashless insurance up to Rs 5 lakh under both schemes.”
Addressing the ceremonial launching event held at Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra Auditorium, chief minister Sarma said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s relentless pursuit of the concept of Antyodaya, meaning the rise of the last person, as formulated by Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay, in day-to-day governance, was the motivating factor behind Mukhya Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana launched on Wednesday. Owing to certain limitations, a significant numbers of families belonging to the economically-disadvantaged sections were left out of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, which also offers cashless healthcare treatment benefits of upto lakh per family per year, the chief minister stated, adding Ayushman Asom, covering around 26 lakh uncovered families, would ensure all economically vulnerable families of the state are covered by either Ayushman Bharat or Ayushman Asom. Stating that the Atal Amrit Abhiyan Society would be responsible for the day-to-day operations of Ayushman Asom, the chief minister exuded confidence Ayushman Asom shall prove decisive in realising the current dispensation’s goal of inclusive growth and development. Stating that out-of-pocket expenditures on healthcare expenses make a huge dent on the wellbeing of vulnerable families, chief minister Sarma said beneficiary families shall be able to lead a more dignified and fruitful life from now onwards as their healthcare expenditure woes would drastically go down.
Referring to Ayushman Asom – Mukhya Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana and Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana as reflections of “double-engine government”, the chief minister remarked that the current dispensations at the Centre and in the state have been relentlessly working towards socio-economic empowerment of disadvantaged sections of the society and that Wednesday’s launch of Ayushman Asom, along with previously launched schemes such as Mission Basundhara, Mission Bhumiputra, among others, are manifestations of that very commitment.
The chief minister also stated that improvement of the healthcare sector has been one of the priority areas of the current state government led by him. He also said the recent inauguration of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences at Changsari, along with a number of new medical colleges and hospitals across the state, shall lead to a never-before-seen positive change in the state’s healthcare sector in days to come. He expressed happiness over the increase in the number of seats for MBBS and Post-Graduate courses in the medical colleges of the state as compared to the scenario a decade back. The launch of nursing courses in all medical colleges of the state, as many as 17 functional cancer hospitals in days to come, the upcoming super-specialty hospital plus medical research centre at the Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati campus, shall immensely benefit the residents of the state, the chief minister remarked.
The chief minister also declared the rollout of Mukhya Mantri Lok Seva Arogya Yojana, a healthcare benefit scheme for employees of the government of Assam, from coming August 15 that would do away with the cumbersome process of reimbursement for medical treatment expenses borne by employees on themselves and their dependents.
Further, the state government is planning to set up five additional Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) courts and also a dedicated judicial cadre of government-appointed public prosecutors and additional public prosecutors, said Sarma.
“The public prosecutors will be government employees, and we will give them salaries. They will be appointed through proper examination like other government departments. We want to increase the ratio of conviction because this defines the law and order situation of a state,” Himanta said.
The chief minister concluded his speech by seeking blessings from the people of the state so as to bestow him with the necessary energy so that he can fulfill his constitutional obligations with greater efficiency than ever before.
Several of the ministers of Assam Cabinet along with Union minister of state for petroleum Rameshwar Teli were also present in the launch event.