Delhi [India]: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Saturday debunked Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal claims on the state government’s health scheme, asserting that it is still in the planning stage.
Expressing deep anguish over Kejriwal’s letter in which he asserted that his government will not implement the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) in a Union Territory, Harsh Vardhan stated that the response shows the Chief Minister is least interested in the welfare of the people of Delhi.
He further termed as baseless the claim that Aam Aadmi Party-led Delhi government is implementing free health care, and therefore, does not need to implement the PMJAY.
“All your (Delhi government) fancy schemes, including the much-touted Universal Coverage Health Scheme, announced more than a year ago, are still lying on the drawing boards awaiting implementation even after four and a half years. Your Mohalla Clinics are an utter flop and the drastic neglect of patient care in Delhi government hospitals is there for all to see,” Dr Harsh Vardhan said in a press statement.
The Union Health Minister, however, urged the Chief Minister to work together for the larger good of the people.
“Be part of the historical health sector revolution that has been visualised by our Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Ayushman Bharat is the world’s most ambitious and largest free government healthcare program. Let us join hands to celebrate each milestone in the journey towards New India,” the minister added.
Refuting the claims of Delhi Chief Minister, Harsh Vardhan stated that while all states can claim to be providing free health care through government hospitals, in reality, citizens still have to spend a lot from their pocket to get the so-called “free treatment”.
“PMJAY targets almost 30 lakh (15% of total population) persons in Delhi who are most poor and vulnerable. You have also mentioned that the income criterion of Rs. 10,000 per month is less than the minimum wages in Delhi but I want to correct you that this criterion of Rs. 10,000 per month was used on data collected in 2011 and therefore, such families which were earning less than Rs. 10,000 per month in 2011 are eligible under the scheme” Dr Harsh Vardhan stated.
Disproving the claim of Chief Minister on unlimited cover being provided under the “free health scheme of Delhi Government”, Harsh Vardhan stated that unlimited cover has no meaning if people still have to pay to get the treatment.
“PMJAY insurance cover of Rs. 5 lakh per year is good. In eight months of implementation of PMJAY, only 10 families out of almost 10.74 crore families have exhausted this cover,” the Union Health Minister asserted.
The statement by Harsh Vardhan comes a day after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal ruled out implementing the Ayushman Bharat scheme, known as Modicare.