Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana a Cushion for the Poorer Sections of the Indian Society?

The image of a person, who carried his wife’s dead body on his shoulder for around 12 km after getting refused transport by a local government hospital, collected attention from many news channels in 2016. India ranked 145 out of 195 in 2018 global healthcare quality and access index, with 1.6 million dying because of the poor quality of healthcare.

But, now healthcare has become a political issue for various parties. In September 2018, Prime Minister Narender Modi introduced a national health-insurance scheme, named Ayushman Bharat, officially the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, which focuses on providing Rs 5 lakh insurance cover to over 500 million Indians. In the 2019-20 budget, the government allocated Rs 6,400 core for the scheme, more than three times of the Rs 2,000 sanctioned in the previous budget.