New Delhi: Around 11 lakh jobs are estimated to be generated due to Ayushman Bharat scheme in the next five to seven years which will make it the second largest employment creator after the railways, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday.
India's healthcare system will be an example for the world, Modi said addressing an event to mark the completion of one year of the flagship health insurance programme which he termed one of the several revolutionary steps taken by 'new India'. It was the scheme's big achievement that 46 lakh people have been pulled out of the "darkness of disease", the prime minister said, adding that the PMJAY scheme has turned into 'garibon ki jai' (a victory for poor).
In the coming time, many new hospitals will be set up and employment opportunities will increase, he said. "According to an estimate, due to demands arising out of the scheme in the next 5-7 years, around 11 lakh new jobs will be created. The enormity of the figure can be gauged by the fact that only the Railways generate employment more than this," Modi said. He said efforts are on to make Ayushman Bharat foolproof and bring about improvements in the scheme.
Talking about the journey of the Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojna (AB-PMJAY) over the past one year, the prime minister said if any one person's land, house, ornaments or any other items were saved from being mortgaged or sold for medical treatment, "then it is a huge success of Ayushman India". In the last one year about 50,000 poor could avail the benefits under PMJAY outside their districts and states where they could get better facilities, Modi said.
Ayushman Bharat has two pillars -- the first is the AB-PMJAY that aims to cover over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families (approximately 50 crore beneficiaries), providing a coverage of up to Rs 5 lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary hospitalisation. The second pillar is that nearly 1.5 lakh sub-centres and primary health centres which will be transformed as health and wellness centres by 2022 to provide a comprehensive and quality primary care close to the community, while ensuring the principles of equity, affordability and universality.
"The first year of Ayushman Bharat has been about resolution, dedication and mutual learning and this dedication belongs to every state and Union Territory of the country. We are running the world's largest health care scheme successfully in India due to our determination," the prime minister said. He said that there should be easy access to medical facilities for every poor and every citizen in the country.
As the demand is increasing in small cities, the modern medical infrastructure network is increasing, Modi said and described Ayushman Bharat as a "collective solution for the whole of India as well as a holistic solution for a healthy India". "This is an extension of the government's thinking under which we are working in totality instead of piecemeal approach to deal with India's problems and challenges. Ayushman Bharat ensures better treatment to patients in any part of the country," he said.
Earlier, the prime minister also interacted with select beneficiaries of PM-JAY. He visited an exhibition on PM-JAY showcasing the journey of the scheme over the past one year, launched the 'Ayushman Bharat Start-Up Grand Challenge' and released a commemorative stamp on the occasion. The PM was speaking at Arogya Manthan, a two-day event organized by the National Health Authority to mark the completion of one year of Ayushman Bharat-PMJAY.
The purpose of the event was to provide a platform for all the important stakeholders to meet and discuss the challenges faced in the implementation of the scheme in the past year and to forge new understanding and pathways to improving implementation.