The entire world halted when the COVID-19 pandemic struck. With the loss of lives, savings, and jobs, COVID-19 further exacerbated the chaos. India’s population density would have crippled any nation. India, thankfully, was not one of them. Ayushman Bharat is a government-funded health insurance program established by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of the Government of India. Giving poor families from economically underdeveloped communities free access to healthcare through insurance benefits them.
Ayushman Bharat, launched in 2018, is a health assurance scheme designed to help vulnerable sections of the population with their medical bills. On the initiative’s completion, it will provide health coverage to 500 million people. The scheme provides financial protection against hospitalization expenses for below-income citizens who are not covered by any other social security schemes.
COVID-19 has exposed India’s healthcare system’s fragility and highlighted Ayushman Bharat’s significance. To address the rising costs of medical treatment in India, Ayushman Bharat has introduced many measures. Let’s understand it in detail,
Ayushman Bharat Yojana: What Is It?
A flagship program, Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY), was created to help financially struggling Indian families with their healthcare needs. The program includes impaneled private medical facilities in addition to all public hospitals.
All Indian citizens are now eligible for free testing and care at public and private hospitals that Ayushman Bharat has accredited. Since COVID-positive patients typically stay in the hospital for seven to ten days, all eligible patients admitted to the general ward for COVID-19 treatment were utterly free under the AB-PMJAY program.
During the lockdown, how did Ayushman Bharat (AB-PMJAY) assist COVID-19?
After examining the number of patients admitted during the second wave of the pandemic, it was discovered that the Ayushman Bharat scheme was very effective. In general, it was found that people were using this program more through private hospitals with impaneled status for COVID-19 treatments. The Ayushman Bharat Yojana equally serves young and old people. Using a straightforward app called ABHA, the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) has been the backbone connecting all the healthcare facilities in the nation and making them easily accessible to all Indian citizens (Ayushman Bharat Health Account).
Furthermore, the Ayushman Bharat Yojana has also established an online platform called ABDA (Ayushman Bharat Digital Assistance). This platform was developed to facilitate the registration of vulnerable and marginalized citizens. The program has also created many new jobs in the healthcare sector and has helped to provide better access to quality healthcare services.
Overall, the Ayushman Bharat Scheme has been extremely beneficial in helping to reduce the burden of medical expenses for those affected by COVID-19. It is a great step toward providing universal health coverage to all citizens. In times to come, it will help to create a healthier India and a stronger healthcare system.
Ayushman Bharat’s COVID Package
The National Health Authority of India, AB-PMJAY, created unique COVID testing and complementary treatment plans for all Indians. People from all over the country can benefit from this program’s advantages and receive cashless treatment at any public or private hospital that has been granted an impaneled status. Additionally, most states decided to make COVID testing and treatment accessible while still using their own systems. The following are included in the COVID package under AB-PMJAY:
- Drugs and Medicines
- Charges for Oxygen Supply Registration
- Fees for beds (general ward if undergoing surgery)
- Charges for anesthesia and blood transfusions
- Charges for the operating room and the price of surgical devices
- Surgeons’, anesthesiologists’, and other professionals’ consulting fees
- Charges for Nursing and Boarding
- Tests in Pathology and Radiology (X-ray, Computed Tomography Scan, Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
- Fees for all materials necessary for the treatment, personal protective equipment (PPE), masks, sanitizers, and food provision for the patients.
Benefits for Citizens of the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) Throughout COVID-19
Through AB-PMJAY, people could virtually schedule a doctor’s appointment, contact doctors across the country from the comfort of their homes, or access hospitals. Anyone can use telemedicine services, which enable doctor-patient video calls, to consult a doctor at a nearby health and wellness center, even without a computer. Citizens who enroll in ABDM will receive these benefits. Each registered citizen will be able to:
- Use your unique health ID to access the various healthcare services offered by hospitals across the ABDM platform.
- Utilize the ABDM platform to access and share health records from any healthcare facility digitally.
- Utilize the telemedicine services offered by healthcare providers in different locations. With this service, residents can use the ABHA app to schedule a virtual appointment and consult with their preferred doctor in person or virtually.
How do you register for covid vaccination through the Cowin portal?
On January 16, 2021, the government of India launched the covid vaccine intelligence work (Cowin), a digital platform to help people register for vaccination. The Cowin app is managed by the government of India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
The majority of the Indian population has received both vaccination doses. In January, the covid 19 booster dose was introduced for seniors and people with comorbidities. Those who want a dose can do cowin self-registration on the cowin app or through the arogya setu app, which supports Cowin registration.
Follow these steps to reserve the slot: –
- Visit selfregistration.cowin.gov.in, the official Co win website.
- Input the OTP that was just sent to your phone.
- Choose “Register Member”
- Enter your Aadhar Card number now. An OTP will then be sent to the mobile number associated with your Aadhar account. Type the OTP.
- Currently, booking a Cowin Vaccine Slot with a family member is possible.
- Now choose the vaccination location and the most appropriate time and date.
- Now On the day you have reserved the slot, arrive at the vaccination center.
Healthcare activities in India flourished while all other sectors of the world were put on hold due to COVID-19. The government and citizens of India have ensured that every citizen receives quality healthcare during these trying times. We should be proud of ourselves as a nation for offering medical facilities to treat and vaccinate residents living in the country’s farthest reaches.
The Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) was specially designed to provide healthcare and financial support to the poor during this pandemic. Its telemedicine facility has allowed people to contact doctors virtually from the comfort of their homes. In addition, the Cowin platform has made it easier for people to register for vaccines by providing an online booking system.