PM health insurance scheme to include 19 more Ayush treatment packages

The Ayush ministry has proposed the inclusion of 19 Ayurvedic, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (Ayush) treatment packages in the cashless health insurance scheme, Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY), union minister Shripad Naik said on Tuesday.

The proposal to treat neurological diseases, arthritis among others has been submitted to the National Health Authority, Ayush secretary Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha said.
The packages include treatments through Panchakarma, cupping therapy and Varmam therapy, the secretary said.
“A proposal for inclusion of 19 Ayush packages has been finalised and submitted to the National Health Authority,” said Naik, minister of state (independent charge) for Ayush, while enumerating the achievements of his ministry in the last 100 days.
Naik also said the guidelines for expanding insurance to additional Ayush treatments has also been finalised. He said funds of Rs325 crore have been released to states for activities under National Ayush Mission (NAM) based on scrutiny of proposals.
In collaboration with NITI Aayog and Invest India, a Scheme for Integrated Health Research (SIHR) has been finalised with an outlay of Rs490 crore, Naik said, adding that this would address the untapped potential of integration of Ayush systems with modern medicine.
Funds of Rs325 crore have been released to states for activities under National Ayush Mission (NAM) based on scrutiny of proposals.
In the past hundred days, the Central Research Councils of Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha have validated 110 classical formulations for 60 conditions, by generating evidence on clinical safety and efficacy, he said.
As of now, while a patient availing modern system of medical treatment (Alopathy) is eligible for medical insurance under the world’s largest health scheme, PMJAY, the health cover is unavailable to the person who opts for alternative medicine system Ayush (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy).
The minister also said his ministry has set up three new Ayush hospitals in Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Odisha during the 100-day period of the present government while 306 Ayush hospitals have been upgraded. The essential medicines have been supplied and sanctioned to more than 11,980 hospitals and dispensaries, which will benefit more than 2.9 crore patients, the minister informed. The support 2,853 public health centres, co-located Ayush centres have been set up during the period for medicines and contingencies, which will benefit 6.46 million patients. 
Naik said his ministry has been pursuing the expansion of insurance cover for Ayush procedures diligently. “We have also finalised the guidelines for expanding insurance to additional AYUSH treatments, and the response of the insurance companies to this has been positive,” the Ayush minister added.
The mnister further informed that his ministry has set a target to operationalise 4,200 Ayush Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs) under Ayushman Bharat Scheme during 2019-20, adding that after scrutiny of proposals from states, 1,754 HWCs from different states/ UTs have been sanctioned, and funds for 1,037 HWCs already released.
Highlighting the efforts of the Ayush ministry in medicinal plants cultivation, the minister said, “Proposals related to medicinal plant cultivation have also been supported. State Action Plans from 17 states were finalised, covering approximately 6,500-hectare area, and costing around Rs36 crore. This will benefit over 3,000 farmers, and will include establishment of 44 nurseries and 16 processing units.” 
Further, Naik said, the government’s efforts to globalise Ayush systems “have yielded notable success”. 
“The BIMSTEC nations with whom we share excellent political and social equations have agreed to jointly set up a BIMSTEC University of Ayurveda and Traditional Medicine in India.”