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India launches ‘world’s largest’ healthcare scheme

By News Express on 24/09/2018

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•Photo shows Indian nurses attending to a patient
•Photo shows Indian nurses attending to a patient

The Indian government has launched one of the world's largest publicly funded health insurance scheme, set to cover some 500 million poor people.

The Ayushman Bharat programme, dubbed "Modicare" after Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised health cover worth 500,000 rupees ($6,900) to every poor family to treat serious ailments.

At the occasion of its official rollout in Ranchi, capital of the eastern state of Jharkhand, on Sunday, Modi claimed that a government scheme at "such a grand scale is not being carried out anywhere in the world".

The prime minister said the scheme will transform India into a medical hub in the future and called it "a big step towards providing good quality and accessible healthcare to the poor of India.

"Over 100 million families will benefit," Modi said.

The programme, which was first announced as part of the yearly budget in February, is expected to cost the central and 29 state governments $1.6bn a year in total.

Expenditures will be shared by the central and state governments at a 60 to 40 ratio in most states and funding will be increased gradually according to the demand.

On Sunday, Modi handed medical cards out at the launch in Ranchi, calling it a "historic day" for the country.

The government is aiming is set up 50,000 wellness centres across the country over the next four years, he said.

"The scheme will not have any distinguished plans on the basis of sect or caste. There will be no discrimination based on any race or any fraternity," said Modi. (Aljazeera)

Source News Express

Posted 24/09/2018 12:16:39 PM

 

 

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Africa Media Agency and Al Jazeera