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J&K’s Ayushman Bharat Story: Beneficiaries only 1%, Rejections 27%

JAMMU: While Jammu and Kashmir makes for a measly 1% of the total beneficiaries of Ayushman Bharat health coverage, it constitutes a major chunk of rejected applications- almost 27% in of the country, second highest in the entire country.

Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY), a flagship scheme of Government of India aiming to achieve the vision of Universal Health Coverage, is the world’s largest Government funded health assurance scheme, provides free treatment up to Rs 5 Lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary healthcare hospitalizations.

The scheme covers 14.77 crore families, and around 70 crore people across the country, who have been enrolled on the basis of select deprivation and occupational criteria across rural and urban areas.

As per the official figures available with The Dispatch, as many as 69.37 lakh people from Jammu and Kashmir have been covered under the Ayushman Bharat scheme, which include 50337 people enrolled in 2019-20, 3408585 in 2020-21, 2114246 in 2021-22 and 1364070 enrolled in the current financial year 2022-23.

Together they make for 0.99% of the total population of India covered under the scheme.

However, what stands out is the fact that Jammu and Kashmir stands at second position in the entire country, when it comes to the number of rejections of applications for coverage under the scheme.

As many as 11,117 applications from Jammu and Kashmir were rejected over the past three years on various counts, making for 26.91% of the total 41,309 applications, that have been rejected in the entire country in this period.

Only Gujarat, which has 1.21 crore of its population enrolled under the scheme, has more rejections at 16,557, the official numbers tell.

Officials in Jammu and Kashmir say that the number of rejections have largely been because of the missing documentation from the applicants, even as some of the people who applied for the same did not fulfil the eligibility criteria.

While the people belonging to households without shelter, destitutes, manual scavenger families, primitive tribal groups, legally released bonded labour are automatically included among the beneficiaries under AB-PMJAY, the government has listed out other eligibility criteria for inclusion under the scheme.

In rural areas, the families with only one room with kutcha walls and kutcha roof, families having no adult member between age 16 to 59, female headed households with no adult male member between age 16 to 59, families with disabled member and no able-bodied adult member,the SC/ST households and landless households deriving major part of their income from manual casual labour are eligible.

Similarly, in urban areas, the occupational criteria include the rag pickers, beggars, domestic workers, street vendors, cobblers, hawkers, other service provider working on streets, construction worker, plumber, mason, labour, painter, welder, security guard, coolie and other head-load worker, sweeper, sanitation worker, mali, home-based worker, artisan, handicrafts worker, tailor, transport worker, driver, conductor, helper to drivers and conductors, cart puller, rickshaw puller, shop worker, assistant, peon in small establishment, helper, delivery assistant, attendant,  waiter, electrician, mechanic, assembler, repair worker, washer-man and chowkidar.



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