Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, a scheme that was launched to help around 50 crore Indians to access quality and affordable healthcare, has provided treatment to only 19 people in Bihar, 875 in Uttar Pradesh and 1,419 in Jharkhand, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The data was provided by the National Health Authority (NHA) of the government of India in response to an RTI requested by India Today.
However, according to NHA, a few days ago, the PMJAY Ayushman Bharat had received around ₹ 9,481 crores from the Ministry of Finance, out of which ₹8,542.3 crores has been utilized so far.
PM Narendra Modi launched Ayushman Bharat on Independence Day in 2018, aiming to provide healthcare services with insurance coverage up to ₹ 5 lakh for each family every year. The scheme aims to cover 50 crore Indian citizens and nearly 10 crore, underprivileged families. But the RTI response has cast clouds of doubt on the scheme's effectiveness.
The RTI response
While Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra treated over 1.5 lakh people each under the Ayushman Bharat scheme, Punjab, Gujarat, and Daman have no patient who benefitted from this scheme, according to the RTI response.
In UP and Bihar, two of the three most populated state in the country, only 1538 and 105 people were tested under the scheme, respectively. In Jharkhand, 27 tests were done, and 1,419 people were treated. In Assam, 108 people were tested, and 619 received treatment under Ayushman Bharat. No data was provided on West Bengal under this scheme.
"A total of 23.78 lakh (17.73 lakhs testing, and 6.05 lakhs treatments) admissions have been authorized for free testing and treatment under the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) up to the first week of June 2021," National Health Authority told India Today.
No official demarcation between first and second wave
The second wave of COVID-19 had a devastating effect and exhausted India's healthcare system, but the NHA makes no official distinction between the first and the second wave. NHA said that there is no official information regarding clear-cut demarcation between the first and second wave of Covid-19.