New Delhi: Four days to go for a country-wide launch, the Centre is going on a publicity overdrive to create awareness for the PM Jan Arogya Yojana, also known as Ayushman Bharat, asking states to ensure patients are informed of the scheme once they reach the hospital for treatment starting this Sunday.
As reported first by ET last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be launching the scheme on September 23 from Ranchi in Jharkhand, two days ahead of schedule. Ahead of the same, a phone helpline number has been launched along with a link on the AB-NHPM portal for people to check if they are eligible for getting benefits under the PM-JAY scheme. Mass SMS messages may also be sent to beneficiaries closer to Sunday to inform them of the scheme’s roll-out, a senior government official told ET. The Ayushman NHA has been receiving around 10,000 calls a day on its recently launched helpline. “A majority of these calls are from people who have actually been identified as beneficiaries of this scheme, which is a positive sign for us. States are also setting up their own call centres to make it easy to communicate in regional languages,” Indu Bhushan, the CEO, PMJAY told ET.
All states have been asked to set up kiosks at all empaneled hospitals with PM-JAY branding, cover such hospitals with publicity material like banners on the scheme, give uniforms to Arogya Mitras who will guide people about the scheme at hospital and distribute pamphlets to the incoming patients. States have also been asked to go for outdoor advertising for visibility and hold panchayats in villages. “We want to create a brand so that beneficiaries know where to go and whom to contact to get the services under PMJAY. The publicity, especially the audio and visual communication, helps in reaching the beneficiaries effectively…,” Bhushan added. He said Arogya Mitra uniforms are so that beneficiaries find it easier to identify persons to help them at the hospitals.