The Ayushmaan Bharat Pardhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojna, rolled out in Himachal Pradesh two years ago, is proving to be ‘boon’ for people in getting free medical treatment in critical ailments and has also helped in increasing universal health coverage in the state.

Highlighting this, HP Health and Family Welfare Minister Rajiv Saizal said the ambitious scheme was launched on 23 September 2018 in the state and was being implemented “effectively”.

“Around 5 lakh families are eligible for availing benefits of the scheme in the state and as many as 71,438 beneficiaries have availed free treatment with an expenditure of Rs 71.95 crore,” he added.

Saizal said the scheme provides free treatment upto rupees five lakh on hospitalization and at present, 200 hospitals in the state are registered under the scheme including 62 private hospitals.

Beneficiaries can also avail the benefit of free medical treatment in registered hospitals of any other state or Union Territories of the country.

About 1579 procedures have been included for free treatment under Ayushmaan Bharat, including day care surgeries, he said.

He further stated that Sushma Devi of Rajgarh area in Sirmaur district was the first beneficiary to get treatment under Ayushmaan Bharat scheme in the state and she underwent successful treatment in Civil Hospital, Rajgarh.

“Before implementation of this scheme, there was a provision of free treatment upto Rs 30 thousand only for common diseases under health scheme which was not sufficient for treatment of critical ailments.

The poor and needy families had to face difficulty while getting treatment for critical illness.

Keeping this situation in view, Prime Minister Narandra Modi launched the world’s biggest health security scheme,” he said.

State Health and Family Welfare minister said for successful implementation of this scheme in the state, regional level officers of various departments have been involved. “Golden cards are being issued regularly under the scheme so that maximum needy families can avail the benefit of the scheme.

The eligible families can take their Aadhar Card and Ration Card to the nearest Lok Mitra Kendra and make the Golden card,” he added.

He urged the eligible families to make their golden care at earliest so that they could avail benefit of free treatment of upto rupees five lakh when required and added beneficiaries can also contact toll free number 14555 to know their eligibility.