Delhi LG Versus Chief minister Kejriwal on Ayushman Bharat

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Delhi LG Vs Arvind Kejriwal

In a fresh face off with city government on center-led Ayushman Bharat Health Scheme, Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena has asked the chief minister to implement the scheme at the earliest. Mr Saxena has also recalled the file invoking Rule 19(5) of Transactions of Business Rules, 1993.

In response to the development, Delhi health minister Saurabh Bhardwaj said, “The revelations of ineligible beneficiaries reaping benefits from PMJAY, as exposed by a recent CAG report, emphasize the pressing need for action. As discrepancies within ‘Ayushman Bharat’ come to light, including issues with patient data and private hospital participation, the scheme’s practicality is called into question”.

Meanwhile, Mr Saxena while disposing the file outlined that the Government, despite having given in principle approval for implementation of Ayushman Bharat Scheme way back in 2018 and having announced it even in its budget in 2020, had inexplicably stalled it for merely political reasons, in the process depriving lakhs of poor migrants in the city of health services, under AB-PMJAY.  He has also outlined the fact that the waiting list for issue of ration card to deserving beneficiaries has applicants waiting since 2018, and in the absence of such document, poor sick patients suffering from serious ailments could not avail of health benefits under other available schemes. 

“The non-implementation of the scheme in the National Capital has also led to an unfortunate situation, wherein most of the hospitals located here do not provide treatment under the said scheme, in the process putting people coming from all over the country for treatment to the National Capital at an unjustifiable disadvantage, apart from the hardship that it causes to the local Delhi residents”, Delhi LG has noted in the file.

The LG stressed in his note that successive Health Ministers since 2018, Satyendar Jain, Manish Sisodia and Saurabh Bhardwaj on as many as 06 occasions stalled the file on flimsy political pretext, despite the fact that their aim of credit seeking had been addressed right in the beginning, with the Government of India clarifying that “Ayushman Bharat” could be suffixed with any name that the GNCTD wanted.

However, Mr Bharadwaj responded, “the existing eligibility criteria of the Ayushman Bharat scheme is such that most of the residents of Delhi would not be eligible for availing the benefits of the said scheme eg. a person having a pucca roof or a two-wheeler”. He said that

it is a fact that private hospitals are reluctant to work at CGHS-DGEHS rates and reputed private hospitals having super speciality services are not empanelled under the schemes. Even the empanelled CGHS-DGEHS Private hospitals refuse to provide beds to patients requiring critical care.