New Delhi, Mar 10 (PTI) The National Health Authority (NHA) has entered into an agreement with UTI Infrastructure Technology and Services Limited (UTIITSL) to issue free PVC Ayushman cards to beneficiaries of Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana in 11 states and Union Territories.
The development is in line to reach out to the maximum beneficiaries of the scheme.
UTIITSL is one of the largest financial service providers in India, the NHA said in a statement.
UTIITSL is the second agency after Common Service Centre (CSC SPV) which has been empanelled by the NHA to provide free PVC Ayushman cards to the beneficiaries, it said.
The facility to issue free Ayushman cards has been rolled out in 11 states and UTs -- Bihar, Manipur, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Tripura,Nagaland, Chandigarh, Puducherry, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand with immediate effect, the NHA said.
In the coming days, the facility would be extended to more states and Union Territories, it said.
Until now, beneficiaries were required to pay Rs 30 as fees at UTIITSL. Ayushman cards generated at any of the PM-JAY empanelled hospitals, however, were issued for free and will continue to be issued free of charge.
Dr Ram Sewak Sharma, the CEO of Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, said, 'NHA's MoU with UTI Infrastructure Technology and Services Limited (UTIITSL) aims reach to all AB-PMJAY beneficiaries so that they can get the healthcare benefits under the scheme without any hassle.' 'The PVC Ayushman cards are of good quality, safe, durable, easy to handle which is free of cost for the beneficiaries. In the recent past, the NHA has also signed MoU with Common Service Centres (CVC) for generating PVC Ayushman Cards. Ayushman card gives a sense of entitlement and empowerment to the beneficiaries,' he said.
The NHA, along with its counterparts, is making all efforts to ensure that beneficiaries are not only aware about the scheme but also they are empowered to seek free healthcare services under it, Dr Sharma said.
Under this initiative, AB-PMJAY beneficiaries will receive a paper-based card on the spot post approval of the record. Subsequently, a printed PVC Ayushman card would be provided to the beneficiary which can be collected from the same UTIITSL centre.
However, those service providers who will have the facility to print the PVC card can issue the card in the first instant itself, the statement said.
'The Ayushman card is not an essential requirement to avail healthcare benefits under the AB PM-JAY scheme. It is a mechanism for the identification and verification of beneficiaries to enable seamless delivery of health services,' it stated. PTI PLB SNE