IEP Chandigarh, July 28
Aiming to take government’s flagship programme Ayushman Bharat Mukh Mantri Sehat Bima Yojana at grassroot level, Punjab Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr Balbir Singh on Friday flagged off 7 Information Education and Communication (IEC) Vans to sensitise people about this insurance scheme, besides, enrolling uncovered eligible beneficiaries. The scheme provides insurance coverage of Rs 5 lakh per family per year. Dr Balbir Singh, while addressing the media before flagging off vans at Punjab Bhawan here, said that this awareness campaign is aimed at enhancing rural outreach so that every eligible person should get benefit of this flagship scheme. He said that 70 per cent of Punjab’s eligible population has already been enrolled in this scheme and with this awareness campaign Punjab aims to cover hundred percent of the eligible population. Notably, Punjab covers 44 lakh families under the scheme and has empaneled more than 900 public and private hospitals in Punjab, offering 1579 treatment packages under its coverage. Additionally, beneficiaries can avail treatment pan India at the empanelled hospitals. Dr Balbir Singh said under the leadership of Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, Punjab Government is mulling to universalise this health insurance scheme in the near future. “Once the scheme is universalised, every individual could benefit from this insurance scheme by paying a minimal amount as premium,” he said. Presently, people including Smart Ration Card holders, J-Form holder Farmers, Registered Laborers, Small Traders, Accredited Journalists, and families listed in the Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) 2011 are covered in this scheme. The Minister also informed that out of the total 44 lakh beneficiary families registered, approximately 16.65 lakh families fall under SECC, with the budget being shared between the Central and State Governments in a 60:40 ratio, while the state solely bears the budget for the remaining 27.35 lakh families. “Over the past 15 months, from March 2022, approximately 5.80 lakh treatment packages worth Rs 730 crores were provided. ” he added. Divulging more details about the awareness vans, the Health Minister said that this statewide mass contact cum awareness programme would cover all the districts across the state in a phased manner. These awareness vans will mobilise the people for enrolment and facility of e-card generation will also be provided on the spot, he added. The Health Minister underlined Bhagwant Mann government’s focus on providing the best healthcare facilities to the people, reaching out more aggressively to those in rural areas and the remote areas of the state. He asked the Health department to launch more such mass contact programmes in order to sensitise people towards preventive care. The Minister thanked the Bank of Baroda, who has supported the campaign by providing services for 2 vans to the department. Among others, Special Secretary Health Dr Adapa Karthik, CEO State Health Agency Babita Kaler, Director Health and Family Welfare Dr Adarshpal Kaur, Deputy Director Dr Sharanjeet Kaur, DGM Bank of Baroda Rajesh Kumar Sharma, Pardeep kumar Yadav, Regional Head Bank of Baroda were present on the occasion.