20 states sign MoU for Modicare, success hinges on participation: Nadda

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People crowd outside a chemist store in New Delhi, India February 2, 2018. REUTERS/Saumya Khandelwal

NEW DELHI – As 20 states signed MoUs on Thursday to launch Ayushman Bharat, popularly called Modicare, Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda said the success of the world’s largest government-run health scheme hinges upon active participation of the states.

“States need to own the scheme while Centre will design the policy framework with all possible flexibility and support. Exchanging of MoU is an important step in formalizing the partnership between Centre and states,” Nadda said at Health Ministers Conclave 2018 here.

Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM) aims to provide annual health coverage of Rs 5 lakh per family to around 10 crore poor and vulnerable familes, thereby protecting about 50 crore people or 40 per cent of the country’s population.

“There is a large volume of experience with the states, which are our implementation agency for NHPM. This will contribute to perfecting NHPM framework and systems,” said Nadda and added more than 90 per cent of NHPM beneficiary data verification has already been done.

Model tender documents and final operational guidelines for Modicare were also released at the Conclave. Another five states are likely to sign MoUs by month end, he said.

Presenting the status of implementation, AB-NHPM CEO Indu Bhushan urged the states to seek approval and release RFPs for hiring insurance company (in case of insurance mode) or Implementation Support Agency (ISA) in case of trust mode implementation.

“The initiative will change the landscape of healthcare in the country and we would be remembered forever for our work. We shall work together, learn together, so that we work with the spirit of cooperative federalism, to perfect this largest health assurance scheme of the world,” Nadda said.

A web portal for initiating the empanelment of hospitals under the mission was also launched. Training and demonstration of empanelment software will be conducted in next two weeks and states can operationalize empanelment of hospitals by July 1.

The participants appreciated the inclusive approach taken by National Health Agency during consultations and workshops.

Uttar Pradesh Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh said his state has identified about 98 per cent of the beneficiaries and Meghalaya Health Minister A.L. Hek said NHPM is an end to end scheme which will reduce out-of-pocket expenditure on hospitalization.