“The Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY scheme is setting a great example for promoting gender equity and equal opportunities in access to health benefits and medical assistance for all.”- Dr R.S Sharma, CEO, National Health Authority
New Delhi, 8th March 2022/Swasth Bharat Media
(International women Day) Gender inclusive development is a key factor for attaining overall sustainable growth for India. With almost 50 percent of the country’s population comprising of female citizens, India is striving towards making all socio-economic areas – such as health, employment, or financial independence conducive for women. Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB PM-JAY), the flagship scheme of Central government has been a catalyst working towards removing unequal gender coverage in healthcare insurance.
Currently women comprise up to 49.6% of the total enrolled AB PM-JAY beneficiaries. More than 10 states in India namely Manipur, Nagaland, Mizoram, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Puducherry, Lakshadweep, Kerala and Meghalaya have a higher number of Ayushman Cards issued for women as compared to their male counterparts. Apart from expanding and creating a network of almost 27,300 private and government hospitals, AB PM-JAY has also greatly contributed in shifting the gender paradigm, with over 42 percent of beneficiaries availing treatment under AB PM-JAY being women.
A recent study* on ‘Gender’ under AB PM-JAY from October 2019 to September 2021 reveals that, female utilisation of AB PM-JAY services stood at 46.7% of the total utilisation. States like Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Sikkim observe higher female utilisation under AB PM-JAY than male for the stipulated period of time. AB PM-JAY currently provides, as many as 59 packages and 77 procedures under the speciality of Obstetrics and Gynaecology for women, enabling increased access to better healthcare services and thus helping in the reduction of maternal and child mortality. In the same it has been observed that Obstetrics and Gynaecology utilisation under the scheme is the second most utilised speciality after general medicine in over 15 states.
Besides the above mentioned procedures, other specialisations like Oncology (58%) and Ophthalmology (51%) have also seen a higher female beneficiary utilisation than male under AB PM-JAY.
“The Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY scheme is setting a great example for promoting gender equity and equal opportunities in access to health benefits and medical assistance for all. The high representation of female beneficiaries in the scheme is a testament to our commitment for this endeavor. I hope we can continue this tradition and keep this inclusiveness alive,” said Dr R.S Sharma, CEO, National Health Authority while releasing the study.
Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB PM-JAY) health insurance scheme aspires to continue working on improving health conditions for all and thus contributing in increasing female health autonomy.
The report is available on the website of AB PM-JAY on the following link: https://pmjay.gov.in/Working-Paper-015