NEW DELHI: Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Wednesday said the Ayushman Bharat scheme has enabled poor people to afford treatment at the same hospital like the well-off.

Chairing an event Arogya Dhara-2.0 to mark the completion of 2 crore treatments under the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY), he also launched key initiatives like Adhikar Patra, Abhinandan Patra and Ayushman Mitra.

With the completion of more than 2 crore hospital admissions landmark on Tuesday, treatments worth approximately Rs 25,000 crore have been provided till date through a growing network of 23,000 public and private empaneled hospitals to patients across 33 states and union territories in the country since the launch of the scheme on September 23, 2018, the health ministry said.

“Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY is an ambitious scheme ensuring quality and affordable healthcare for the poor and underprivileged people. The scheme has empowered all eligible beneficiaries with cashless and paperless healthcare services benefits of up to Rs 5 lakh per family per year. Thus, many disadvantaged sections can afford treatment without turning to moneylenders,” Mandaviya was quoted as saying in the statement.

On the government’s work towards universal health coverage in India, he noted, “Prime Minister’s humble background enables him to feel the pain of the poor and helpless.” Mandaviya exhorted common people to spread the word of the scheme so that more and more people are enrolled for medical care under the programme.

Citing examples from his personal life, the minister noted that the scheme has enabled poor people to afford treatment at the same hospital like his well-off peer. He also virtually inaugurated Arogya Dhara 2.0 to increase the reach of AB PMJAY programme to the poorest of the poor households in the country and to make the beneficiaries aware about the scheme.

The key initiatives also launched on the occasion are Adhikar Patra, Abhinandan Patra and Ayushman Mitra.

Adhikar Patra will be issued to the beneficiaries during their hospital admissions for treatment under PM-JAY scheme to make them aware about their rights so that they can claim free and cashless healthcare services up to Rs 5 lakh under the scheme, the ministry said.

Abhinandan Patra, a ‘thank you note’, will be issued to the beneficiaries during their discharge after the treatment under PM-JAY for availing the benefits of AB PM-JAY scheme. The Abhinandan Patra is also accompanied by a feedback form to be filled in by the beneficiary regarding the service they received under the scheme.

Ayushman Mitra is an another key initiative launched which provides an opportunity to all citizens to contribute to the vision of Ayushman Bharat by helping eligible people to get their Ayushman Cards created and bring them under the ambit of the scheme.

National Health Authority CEO Dr RS Sharma lauded the NHA’s robust IT platforms for enabling a simpler, fast, cashless, transparent and paperless entire claim process for beneficiaries to seek financial aid Rs 5 lakh in a time bound manner anywhere in the country and hoped to soon achieve the government’s target of verifying and enrolling over 50 crore beneficiaries under the scheme.