Citing the findings of the latest Comptroller Auditor General (CAG) report regarding the Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (PMJAY), Aam Aadmi Party’s Chief Spokesperson Priyanka Kakkar questioned the irregularities, and frauds in the implementation of the scheme and demanded a thorough investigation on the matter.
Citing that the scheme leaves out certain categories like those with chronic diseases like diabetes, blood pressure, etc, Priyanka Kakkar said, “There are a lot of health studies which state a common citizen spends a lot on diagnosis, tests, medicines and Antibiotics and they don’t require hospitalization. As per the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) studies there are 101 Million individuals in our country who are diabetic, it’s possible that one is diagnosed with diabetes but doesn’t require hospitalization, needs medications and regular tests. Ayushman Bharat doesn’t apply to such patients who are not hospitalized, people suffering from diabetes, and blood pressure doesn’t fall into the purview of the scheme.”
“For those who are suffering from Cancer, their operation and medication bills will be covered for 15 days only after the discharge, so this scheme doesn’t serve the complete purpose and we all are aware that the Modi Government has inflated the price of cancer medicines by 800%. A daily earner who would avoid hospitalization since he’s to earn, will not get Medications, tests, MRI scan and CT scans done by this scheme”, Priyanka Kakkar stated.
She referred to Prime Minister Modi’s statement from 2018, where he mentioned serving the underprivileged as “Daridra Narayan.” She highlighted that PM Modi initiated PMJAY, a scheme aimed at providing healthcare benefits to families with a monthly income not exceeding ₹10,000, targeting those living in abject poverty. But the facts and numbers tell a different story.
“If somebody would have gifted a Refrigerator, or a Smartphone to these families then families will get out of the purview of the scheme. In our country the previous 2 governments had initiated similar schemes which have been incorporated in the ‘Ayushman Bharat’ scheme, it’s hard to imagine any family earning less than ₹10,000 per month, maybe Daily wage earners, Manual Scavengers would fall into the category. These families have been advertised in this scheme heavily as per PM Modi people have started calling this scheme “Modi Care”, a lot has been spent on its digitalisation and advertisements so that common people like us could be influenced since daily wage earners don’t own a Smartphone and they are grinding hard to ₹100-200 to run their families.”
Citing various reports, Priyanka Kakkar stated that the Indian government spends less than 2% of GDP on healthcare, ranking India poorly in global health spending comparisons. She argued that the health sector is not a priority for the Central Government, and this is reflected in the lack of comprehensive healthcare schemes.
In response to PM Modi’s statement regarding the World Health Organization’s (WHO) estimates in the parliament yesterday, Priyanka Kakkar said, “As per WHO, in terms of health spending India is ranked at 184th rank out of 191 countries, this is seriously poor rank, which shows that health is not the priority of the Central Government”. She further quoted The NITI Aayog report 2021 and said, “Approximately 40 crore people fall into the middle-class category in the country, these people don’t have enough income to afford private health insurance and not so less so they can get benefitted by the PMJAY. Often CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal says, “We are one medical bill away from poverty”, there is no concrete scheme for the health care sector in the country”.
Priyanka Kakkar criticized the advertisement of PMJAY as wasteful spending and highlighted issues with the scheme’s implementation. She cited a CAG report that revealed irregularities, including hospitals lacking necessary facilities and fraudulent beneficiaries. She mentioned that substantial amounts of money have been misappropriated through the scheme. The AAP spokesperson raised concerns about frauds committed under the scheme in BJP-ruled states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Gujarat. She called for an investigation into the alleged misuse of funds meant for the most vulnerable citizens. In response to questions, Priyanka Kakkar contrasted PMJAY with a healthcare scheme implemented by the Delhi Government under Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
She suggested that the Delhi scheme is more inclusive and comprehensive, indicating that PMJAY is susceptible to corruption and should be scrutinized.
Priyanka Kakkar cited the report tabled by the Comptroller Auditor General(CAG) and as per the report she said, “Taxpayers’ money has been spent in the advertisement of the”Modi Care” but beneficiaries didn’t receive the benefits. As per this scheme, it’s been told that approx. 26,000 hospitals have been impanelled but the CAG report says in these hospitals some lack doctors, some MRI and CT scan machines and most of these don’t even have beds. CAG has told the National Health Authority(NHA) that these hospitals do not fulfill the minimum requirements in reply the Central Government says, ‘They don’t have to meet the minimum requirements’, who’s getting treated if hospitals don’t have minimum facilities?”
She further said, “A report tabled in the parliament states, ‘Approximately 5-6 lakh people are getting verified per day in the scheme’, but as per the CAG report 10 lakh people are registered from the same mobile numbers illegitimately and a lot has been spent in the verification process itself. CAG report further states that dead people are also receiving funds under this scheme, the same ID is getting treatments at different hospitals at the same time, approximately 3.67 crores beneficiaries out of 11 crores beneficiaries, are suspicious in nature. As per the same report by the CAG, approximately 1.68 crores beneficiaries are completely fraudulent in nature, they don’t exist in reality”.
Priyanka Kakkar stated, “If these 1.68 crores thieves are ethical in nature which means they choose to withdraw ₹50,000 though they can withdraw upto ₹5 lakh, then directly it accounts for ₹8445 crores scam, where is this money going? Who’s looting the money of “Daridra Narayan”? Will Modiji inspect the matter? Does this scheme look good on TV and in newspapers?”
“The CAG report a day ago made it clear about the realities of the scheme. Go see its realities in Uttar Pradesh where they don’t have any facilities on the ground and that is known by everyone, NITI Aayog has continuously put UP below in its ranking as far as health is concerned and that is why people from UP, MP come to Delhi for the treatment. I want to invite you all to visit the GTB hospital which comes under the Delhi Government, approximately 50 per cent of patients are from Uttar Pradesh and they are so poor, if they were getting the treatment there then they didn’t have to come here”.
“As per this CAG report, this scam is happening in three states MP, UP and Gujrat to the largest extent. It’s really important that an investigation should take place, who’s grabbing hold of the money of the poorest”, she added.
Responding to a few questions she said, “The scheme by the Delhi Government under the leadership of the CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal, which doesn’t have any such ceilings of 5 lakh, one doesn’t have to earn less than 10000, there are no boundations, patients are getting treatments universally and it should be implemented throughout the country. This scheme is made for the scams and this is becoming another scam involving the Modi Government”.