The much controversial gap between the government’s two flagship initiatives – Ayushman Bharat Scheme and Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi, has been finally plugged, coming off as a relief especially for the poor patients. The beneficiaries of Ayushman Bharat requiring high cost treatment will now be able to avail financial assistance of up to Rs 15 lakh under the RAN scheme.
RAN provided for the patients who are below poverty line, are suffering from any life threatening disease but cannot receive treatment at any hospital due to financial constraints. However, controversy erupted when certain incidences occurred wherein poor patients were denied coverage for high cost medical treatments since they were already part of Ayushman Bharat Scheme.
This also led to the scheme coming into crosshairs of National Human Rights and Delhi High Court as well. The worst part? Some patients, despite being a beneficiary of Ayushman Bharat, cannot receive treatment since the scheme doesn’t provide coverage for the diseases they are suffering from and being already listed under PMJAY, they can not avail the benefits of RAN scheme. Caught between the two initiatives, this even led to the demise of a young patient.
Out of over 1300 medical packages mentioned under PMJAY, there are certain ailments such as kidney, bone marrow and liver transplant that it doesn’t cover. On that note, hasn’t the new policy under RAN scheme come as a boon for those patients?
“The beneficiary will get certified from the respective government hospital that his or her condition is not covered under the AB-PMJAY and thus the patient should be allowed to avail financial assistance under RAN,” stated an office memorandum.
The new initiative may have come too late for some, however, it will undoubtedly come as a relief for other patients who have been held back till now from receiving treatments simply because they were already beneficiaries of PMJAY.