New Delhi, Mar 21: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the launch of Ayushman Bharat -National Health Protection Mission (NHPM) at a budgetary support of Rs 852.17 billion. The scheme, launched during recent Union Budget, has the benefit cover of Rs 500,000 per family per year. Also Read - Cabinet Approves Laying Submarine Optical Fibre to Provide High-speed Broadband to Lakshadweep | All You Need to Know

Cabinet also approved continuation of the National Health Mission. In the budget, the government had also announced two major initiatives in health sector as part of the Ayushman Bharat programme – creation of health and wellness centres and the National Health Protection Scheme. Also Read - WHO to Set Up Traditional Medicine Centre in India, PM Modi Says Matter of Pride

Recently, government has also launched a digital competition to design the logo and tagline for the Ayushman Bharat programme. World Health Organisation (WHO) director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also lauded National Health Protection Scheme and Ayushman Bharat initiative, saying they have the potential of transforming the lives of hundreds of millions of Indians. Also Read - Are You Ready to Provide COVID-19 Treatment at Ayushman Bharat Rate, Supreme Court Asks Private Hospitals

Ayushman Bharat -NHPM will subsume the on-going centrally sponsored schemes -RashtriyaSwasthyaBimaYojana (RSBY) and the Senior Citizen Health Insurance Scheme (SCHIS). This cover will take care of almost all secondary care and most of tertiary care procedures. To ensure that nobody is left out (especially women, children and elderly) there will be no cap on family size and age in the scheme. The benefit cover will also include pre and post-hospitalisation expenses.

This programme aims to address health holistically, impacting primary, secondary and tertiary care systems, covering both prevention and health promotion.

The 1.5 lakh health and wellness centres will provide people-centric comprehensive primary health care including for common non-communicable diseases closer to the homes of people including providing free essential drugs and diagnostics.

The National Health Protection Scheme will provide over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families treatment coverage up to Rs 5 lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation.