Ayushman Bharat could be delayed due to glitches in IT system

The central government’s ambitious health insurance scheme Ayushman Bharat could be subject to delay on the grounds of technical glitches according to the information provided by Union health minister JP Nadda. Despite the comprehensive efforts of the central government to launch the initiative, the minister stated that without comprehensive testing and evaluation of the system’s stability the scheme would not be launched on practical grounds.

The minister has not specified a particular date for the launch albeit emphasizing on the exclusion of the glitches prior to green signalling project’s launch. Therefore it can be probably considered that the original launch date of August 15 could be delayed and the new launch date for the plan could be assumed as October 2 which implies celebration of Gandhi Jayanti.

The Ayushman Bharat scheme envisions facilitating annual insurance cover of Rs. 5 lakh to four out of every 10 Indians through the involvement of Central as well as State governments characterized by MoUs. However, the need for a comprehensive and robust IT system to implement the scheme is profoundly observed for providing assistance to insurance companies in disseminating the claims and other benefits on a real-time basis. The IT system would be responsible for coordinating, integration and sharing of information across different state health agencies, third party administrators and insurance companies which could account for portability of the scheme’s implementation.

The Union health minister also informed that almost 80% of beneficiaries have been identified in rural areas for the Ayushman Bharat Scheme and further work would be continued in order to recognize beneficiaries in urban areas. The minister also expressed positive opinion regarding the involvement of private hospitals in the Ayushman Bharat scheme despite the lower package rates. He said that the benefits of the scheme for doctors and hospitals would be observed in the long term. Some of the benefits could be identified in the form of increase in number of patients and quick settlements of claims under the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS).

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