The Ayushman Bharat scheme has revolutionised the Indian healthcare ecosystem. Post-Covid -19, most hospitals across the country have been busy serving Covid patients, and many have become wholly dedicated to helping only Covid cases and Covid-associated comorbidities. The ongoing covid scenario led to the negligence of many non-communicable diseases. This prompted the National Health Authority (NHA) to expand its reach of the Ayushman Bharat Yojana to ramp up the non-covid treatment of non-communicable diseases ( NCD), including kidney, stroke and cardiovascular disease. The poorest are the worst hit.
Ayushman Bharat Scheme is the world's largest healthcare scheme aiming to provide preventive and promotive healthcare for all, especially for the underserved population below the poverty line (BPL). From its inception to date, the scheme has provided more than 35 million treatments worth Rs 42 000 crores.
Around 10.74 crore people have already received the Ayushman Health card from health cards, and the health ministry plans to deliver Ayushman cards to 25 crore people by the end of December this year.
A widespread door-to-door card generation drive under the Apke Dwar Ayushman is being implemented. The aim of the Pradhan Mantri-Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY), which comes under AB, is to help reduce or lessen the expense of medical treatment. This will help to curb the six crore Indians who go below the poverty line due to poverty every year.
The recent amendments under the Ayushman Bharat Scheme are considered to aid the patients suffering from ESRD( End stage Renal disease). It used to ravage the finances of most helpless households. In private hospitals, at least three dialysis sessions are suggested for the patient weekly.
The treatment is costly as each dialysis session costs nearly Rs 1200. The expenditure does not end here but is further added up with medication expenses and routine checks up, which also have specific charges. All this adds up to a hefty billing amount and is a big-pocket burden for an individual belonging to the BPL category. The life-saving kidney transplant cost is a costly affair as it lies between 4 to 5 lakhs per patient.
The revised edition of health benefits packages 2.2, launched on April 6, 2022, has added 365 new medical procedures and eased kidney treatment. Along with this, the dialysis patients treatment benefits have also been increased from Rs 1500 to Rs 1800. The plan also promises to have at least one dialysis centre in all the 750 districts covered to date under the program.
The Ayushman scheme allows every cardholder to avail of treatment anywhere across the country. This will benefit all kidney patients who have always travelled miles to reach the nearest dialysis patients centre and have financially burdened their pockets due to travelling costs as well as their existing health conditions.
Kidney disease is the sixth most prominent disease spread across the nation, and around 2.2 lakh ESRD patients are added year on year basis. This has called for an additional demand of 3.4 crore dialysis.
India has the lowest nephrology workforce, with around 2600 nephrologists, a significant worrying fact. This depicts the chronic shortage of reliable dialysis centres. Nurses and the technicians
The diseases contributing to kidney failure include patients suffering from hypertension, diabetes and obesity. Various health data reveal that India will have the maximum diabetes population by 2030 and, if not managed properly, will add to the prevalence of kidney disease.
The early screening of such cases at risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD) can help alleviate kidney disease in patients. With speeding amendments in the Ayushman Bharat Yojana and plans to add dialysis centres in each district, it will be easier for early health screening and management of the illness will be monitored closely. Moreover, the scheme will also motivate more people to come out for organ donation and shatter the related myth.