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HomeNewsHealth minister checks into NHA to speed up Ayushman card rollout

Health minister checks into NHA to speed up Ayushman card rollout


NEW DELHI : Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya and his staff move into new offices at the National Health Authority from Monday to ensure that a million Ayushman cards are created and distributed every day as part of the government’s flagship health insurance scheme Ayushman Bharat PMJAY.

The scheme aims to cover over 100 million poor and vulnerable families, or around 500 million individuals, providing a coverage of up to 5 lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization.

The move comes amid a slackening in the pace of the roll-out of the insurance scheme, previously thought to be because of the covid-19 pandemic.

So far, only around 195 million Ayushman cards have been issued, with 36 million hospital admissions authorized.

Mandaviya who will take over the NHA additional chief executive officer’s room, has scheduled a meeting with all heads of departments and state governments on Monday.

“We have received a communication from the minister’s office directing us to set up a secretariate for Health Minister in NHA. Health minister is likely to sit in NHA office from Monday onwards and will take meetings with all head of departments and states on Monday and will personally interact with NHA resource to take the feedback,” said an official aware of the matter requesting anonymity.

The existing Additional CEO’s office in NHA has been transformed and will now be used by the union health minister. Similarly, several other rooms have been allotted to Mandaviya’s immediate staff.

Another official said Mandaviya, during the recent fourth anniversary of PM-JAY Arogya Manthan, had said that one million Ayushman cards would be created and distributed every day.

“To make sure his claim is lived up to by the states, the minister wants to monitor this card creation drive in the states/UTs to achieve and deliver the target generate one million Ayushman Cards in a day,” said this official.

The NHA was created in 2018 and given “full functional autonomy” to implement the flagship public health insurance scheme and achieve the vision of universal health coverage. Since inception, it has been headed by a Chief Executive Officer (CEO). States have their own state health agencies, who too enjoy full operational autonomy, according to the NHA website.

The current CEO of the authority is Dr R.S. Sharma. Recently two senior officials , deputy CEO and additional CEO, have left NHA.

Queries emailed to health ministry spokesperson did not elicit any response till the time of publishing the story.

“The admin department is leaving no stone unturned in making arrangements for the new office of the health minister and his team at NHA and we all are very excited to welcome them. It is for first time that a minister would personally sit here to review things,” said a third official from NHA aware of the matter.

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