Lakhs of poor and underprivileged people of Delhi will hopefully benefit soon from the hugely popular and successful Ayushman Bharat Scheme after the Hon’ble Delhi High Court issued a notice to the Arvind Kejriwal’s Delhi government in response to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed for the implementation of the Scheme in Delhi.
Delhi BJP Media In-Charge, Pratyush Kanth and Legal Cell Convener, Surya Prakash Khatri (Petitioners) filed a PIL before the Hon’ble Delhi High Court for facilitating and implementation of Ayushman Bharat (Healthy India), Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana in order to provide financial protection to the poor and deprived families all throughout the National Capital Territory of Delhi. The petition was listed before the Hon’ble Delhi High Court Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice C. Harishankar wherein, it was argued on behalf of the Petitioners that the Delhi Govt has been claiming that they have a better and comparable policy of their own due to which they have not been implementing Ayushman Bharat Scheme within the NCT of Delhi.
The Petitioners further argued that no such policy of Delhi Govt. exists and has been implemented so far and have categorically made a request to the Court to call upon the Delhi Govt. to produce a copy of the said policy, if it actually exists. In view of the arguments advanced, the Court appreciating the gravity of the situation was pleased to issue Notice to the Delhi Govt. to file a response and put forth their stand.
The Ayushman Bharat Scheme launched by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which targets to provide financial protection to 10.74 Crore poor and vulnerable families (approx. 50 Crore beneficiaries), has been a great success all across the country. However, it is surprising that the residents and inhabitants of NCT of Delhi have been consciously deprived of the benefits of the said Scheme, which is in clear violation of the Fundamental Rights of the citizens of NCT of Delhi as guaranteed under the Constitution of India.
It is a matter of fact that, altogether, 34 States and Union Territories have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Central Government to implement the Ayushman Bharat Scheme and lakhs of people are availing and enjoying the benefits of the Central Govt’s scheme all across the country.
The Petitioners have apprised the Court that the inhabitants and residents of Delhi have been deprived of the comprehensive benefits of the Ayushman Bharat Scheme, which includes but are not limited to the following:-
- Reduction in financial burden of the State to a large extent by contribution of funds and resources by the Central Govt.;
- Health Insurance cover of up to Rs.5 Lacs per family per year;
- No cap on family size and age of members;
- Establishment of 1,50,000 Health and Wellness Centres to bring the healthcare system closer to the homes of people;
- Free treatment available at public and empanelled private hospitals;
- Cashless and paperless access to quality healthcare services;
- Hospitals cannot deny treatment and are not allowed to charge any additional money from beneficiaries;
- State beneficiaries to take treatment benefits at any empanelled hospital across the country;
and many more…
If the Delhi Govt. joins the Ayushman Bharat Scheme, like all other states, Delhi can also have more medical infrastructure which will help the poor strata of the society in getting free medical aid. Additionally, being a centrally supported scheme, a citizen can avail medical facilities all over the country under the said Scheme from various hospitals situated all over the country. If Delhi also adopts the Scheme, various hospitals of the city (including empanelled private hospitals) will come under the purview of the Scheme and hence the horizon of the free medical facility Scheme will extend to more people. However, instead of availing the additional facilities offered by the Central Govt., the Delhi Govt. has been providing cryptic and superfluous reasons for non-implementation of the Ayushman Bharat Scheme and thereby, depriving the inhabitants and residents of Delhi of the extensive benefits of the Ayushman Bharat Scheme.