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Budget Scheme for Poor Families

Budget 2018: Arun Jaitley announces Rs 5 lakh insurance for poor families in ‘world’s largest’ healthcare scheme

The initiative was announced under Ayushman Bharat scheme, which will provide medical insurance to poor families, and bring wellness centres to their door step, especially in remote areas.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday announced a flagship National Health Protection Scheme under which Rs 5 lakh cover will be provided a year to 10 crore poor and vulnerable families in the country.

“We are now launching a flagship national health protection scheme to cover 10 crore poor and vulnerable families. This is approximately 50 crore beneficiaries, by providing them up to Rs 5 lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation,” Jaitley said presenting the 2018-19 Union Budget.

The initiative was announced under Ayushman Bharat scheme, which will provide medical insurance cover to poor families, and promote holistic health by brining wellness centres to their door step, especially in remote areas.

Jaitley termed the new scheme as the world’s largest government funded healthcare programme, saying it would take healthcare protection to a new aspirational level. Experts in the field of public health, however, said that the Centre would need to specify what healthcare services would be covered under the scheme.

 “The Centre needs to define the list of treatments and other services provided under the scheme and closely monitor it, else it could become an opportunity to cash-in. There will always be fear of induced care, which would mean more stents or more surgeries,” said Dr K Srinath Reddy, president, Public Health Foundation of India.

The premium outgo for the National Health Protection Scheme would be in the range of 2-2.5 lakh crore each year.

Jaitley also announced Rs 1,200 crore for the 1.5 lakh wellness health centres in the country.

He also announced Rs 600 crore for nutritional support of Tuberculosis patients in India. Under the initiative, Rs 500 will be provided to each TB patient undergoing treatment.

“A total of 24 new government medical colleges have also been announced as part of the new initiative for health by the government,” said Jaitley

He also Announced : Ujjwala scheme to cover 80 million families, says Arun Jaitley

Arun Jaitley expands ambit of Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (Ujjwala scheme) to include 80 million poor families who will be given free cooking gas connections

Free cooking gas scheme expanded to 8 crore poor families 

More women can expect freedom from hazardous kitchen smoke as the government has proposed to expand its free cooking gas programme to 8 crore poor families from 5 crore earlie

The Ujjwala Yojana, conceived two years ago, has ensured record penetration of cleaner cooking gas among poor families, and is widely believed to have paid electoral dividends to the Bharatiya Janata Party in assembly polls, triggering demand from the oil ministry to expand its scale.

The Yojana, aimed to cover 5 crore families in three years, with 1.5 crore subscribers each in the first two years, exceeded annual target in 2016-17, the first year of its implementation, and is on course to repeat that feat again this year.

So far, nearly 3.35 crore poor families have already received free cooking gas connection. Under the scheme, the government gives security deposit for a cylinder and regulator to the oil companies on behalf of the customer, but the subscriber must pay for the gas .
The Narendra Modi government’s record in expanding cooking gas consumer base has been unmatched. The number of active cooking gas consumers today is 21.9 crore, of which nearly 8 crore have been added during Modi’s term as prime minister. This has also boosted consumption of cooking gas in the last three years. During April-December 2017, consumption rose 8.4% from a year earlier.
The government is now working on strengthening its cooking gas infrastructure to be able to reliably serve customers.
State oil companies are working on increasing their LPG distribution network by nearly a third by March 2019. New distributors are mainly coming up in regions that have been short on distributors or places which have seen a surge in new cooking gas consumers. States like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha and Maharashtra are set to have a big share of new distributors
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