For universal access to public healthcare
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship health insurance scheme, Ayushman Bharat, officially called the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY), has been widely lauded since it was launched last year. Various states are in the process of rolling it out. Its aim of picking up the illness bills of 500 million of the country’s most vulnerable is hard to argue against. But with the sorry spectacle presented by Bihar in dealing with a deadly encephalitis outbreak among children of poverty-stricken families, attention has been drawn back to the ramshackle state of public healthcare facilities.