New Delhi: Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Harsh Vardhan wrote to chief ministers of Delhi, Odisha, Telangana and West Bengal on Wednesday, urging them to join the Centre’s flagship health scheme Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Matri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY).

The doctor-turned-politician returned as the Union Health and Family Welfare Minister on Monday with an intention to strengthen the implementation of the Ayushman Bharat welfare scheme across the country, among other issues.

He said that he will ensure that people in every nook and corner utilise the benefits of the scheme. As a step towards the same, the Union Minister wrote to several state ministers asking them to enlist in the welfare scheme.

Vardhan reportedly spoke with Chief Ministers Arvind Kejriwal, Naveen Patnaik and Mamata Banerjee and has been trying to reach Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao for the same.

In his letter, the Union Minister wrote, “It is due to clear and transparent processes, ease of access and benefits to a large section of the poor population that 32 states and UTs have accepted the scheme. The scheme has been running successfully providing financial protection to crores of people.”

Vardhan said that the healthcare scheme is number one on his priority list for the country’s welfare. He argued that the states would gain resources, national portability state-of-the-art technological platforms, implementation systems, and analytics systems at no additional cost.

Harsh Vardhan took charge with the intention to complete the unfinished target of the Bharatiya Janata Party to transform 1.5 lakh health units as ‘health and wellness centres’ by 2022 and provide comprehensive care to the community.

Currently, the Ayushman Bharat scheme by the Government of India has over 10,000 operational health and wellness centres in 32 states and Union territories. The scheme was launched in 2018 to make healthcare a government-sponsored benefit by providing coverage up to Rs 5 lakh to the needy.

With ANI inputs