Shillong(Meghalaya), Sep17 : The Minister for Health and Family Welfare, A L Hek kicked off the Ayushman Bharat Fortnight today at Moreau Institute for Integral Training (MIIT), here . Present at the State launching were the Chairperson, Meghalaya State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Smti Meena Kharkongor as Guest of Honour, Secretary Health & Family Welfare and MD NHM & CEO MHIS, Government of Meghalaya, P Bakshi, East Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner, Smti. M War Nongbri, Directors of Health Services, Dr. N K Bhattacharjee, President Heart Care Society, Assam, and others.
During the fortnight awareness campaign from September 15 to October 2, the officials of the Health and Family Welfare Department and ASHA workers have chalked out various programmes in rural as well as urban areas across the districts to educate the public about the government’s ambitious healthcare scheme.
The Minister said that the flagship health insurance programme of the Government of India will ensure that every citizen benefit from the scheme. He said that health is a core issue of concern for the government, and the department has left no stone unturned to implement this scheme in letter and spirit. He called upon the health workers to take this programme forward and guarantee Health for All to each and every citizen.
Smti Kharkongor, in her speech, touched on the very important aspect of health care of the under privileged children in rural areas where she said that these children are greatly affected due to lack of information about the various health schemes of both the Central and State Government. She expressed gratitude to the Government for taking the initiatives to increase equity in the health services delivery in the area of child health which include, targeting of rural population especially the disadvantaged groups as the primary beneficiary with special focus on women and children. She expressed hope that the dynamic team of health workers will ensure that this programme touch the last mile.
P Bakshi in his speech said Ayushman Bharat is the largest government funded programme of the Government and the Government of India has set a target of setting up 1.5 lakh Health & Wellness Centres by 2022. He said that this insurance scheme will reduce out of pocket expenditure and catastrophic health expenditure of the patients. Shri Bakshi also informed that till date there are 42 Health and Wellness Centres in the State and hoped that by the year 2022, Meghalaya will achieve the targeted 207 number of Centres.
Smti War Nongbri, in her speech said that Ayushman Bharat gives us an opportunity to contribute more to health and wellness of the citizens and PMJAY-MHIS assures the citizens to know more about the health schemes. She said that East Khasi Hills District has only 51% enrolment in MHIS Stage IV and called for a strong mechanism to ensure that each and every citizen is not denied of the benefit of this health scheme.
The Minister flagged off the National Mobile Medical Unit Ambulances and also distributed android mobile phones to the ASHA workers.
Earlier in the day, to mark the commencement of Ayushman Bharat Fortnight in the State, a walkathon on Walk for Health was conducted wherein hundreds of people took part. The walk started from the Health Complex Laitumkhrah and culminated at MIIT. The Walkathon was flagged off by the Minister.
Ayushman Bharat or “Healthy India”, a national initiative was launched in 2018 as recommended by the National Health Policy 2017, to achieve the vision of Universal Health Coverage. It comprises of two inter-related components–Establishment of Health and Wellness Centres (HWC) – that cover prevention promotion and ambulatory care at primary level, and Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY) – for cashless treatment at secondary and tertiary level.
The objective of this fortnight is to increase awareness about Ayushman Bharat and reach out to the beneficiaries with information about availing the services. The thematic approach will essentially cover both the pillars of Ayushman Bharat schemes i.e. Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yaoga (PM-JAY) as well as Pradhan Mantri Health & Wellness Centers. In February 2018, the Government of India announced that 1, 50,000 Health & Wellness Centres would be created by transforming existing Sub Health Centres and Primary Health Centres to deliver Comprehensive Primary Health Care and declared this as one of the two components of Ayushman Bharat.
The other component of Ayushman Bharat, namely the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) aims to provide financial protection for secondary and tertiary care to about 40% of India’s households. PMJAY is implemented with MHIS in Meghalaya as a universal Health insurance scheme. Its success and affordability rests substantially on the effectiveness of provision of Comprehensive Primary Health Care through Health & Wellness Centers. Together, the two components of Ayushman Bharat will enable the realization of the aspiration for Universal Health Coverage.
Taking the Ayushman Bharat Programme forward, the State has implemented the Comprehensive Primary Health Care Programme in 5 districts of the state i.e East Khasi Hills, West Khasi Hills, West Garo Hills, West Jaintia Hills & Ri Bhoi District with the objective of upgrading the Existing PHCs & Sub Centers to Health & Wellness Center to Provide Comprehensive Primary Health Care closest to the Community . This exercise of upgrading PHCs & Sub Centers to Health & Wellness Center by the state is currently done in a phased manner with the aim to upgrade maximum facilities as Health & Wellness Center by 2022.
The objective of this initiative is to increase and ensure the awareness to availing the services from Health and Wellness Centres, PM-JAY and MHIS. It will also be emphasising during the fortnight, the enrolment of all families under MHIS to enable them to get benefits from the scheme.
Megha Health Insurance Scheme (MHIS) has been contributing to the welfare of the people of Meghalaya since 2012-13. Each phase new changes are made for the betterment of the people. MHIS in Meghalaya has made an extra effort to include children belonging to Orphanages, Old Age Homes, Person with Different ability and others. This year in convergence with Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY), they have sited orphanages and conducted registration of children. This is a commendable effort to give a health insurance cover to these children.