Former Union Minister and senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh alleged on Saturday that the Centre's flagship health insurance scheme Ayushman Bharat was acting s "an invitation of fraud" for private companies.
"It is an empty scheme as the claims made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi are false. It is a gold mine for the private companies," Mr Ramesh told media persons in New Delhi.
"The scheme acts as an invitation of fraud to them. It only works for the benefit of private companies, private hospitals, and the private insurance company," he added.
Claiming that the scheme allows private companies to commit fraud, Mr Ramesh said, "PM Modi has allowed private companies to do corruption twice and only after the second time any action will be taken. What kind of scheme is this?"
Launched in 2018, Ayushman Bharat aims to provide healthcare facilities to over 10 crore families covering urban and rural poor. Under this scheme, poor people have cashless insurance cover up to Rs 5 lakh.
He said the scheme only covers the expenses when the patient is admitted in a hospital. "We all know that majority of expenses are outpatient, not inpatient like medicine, checkups, stitches," he said.
"Around 85 per cent of the expense is outpatient. Then why the Central government never thought to include it in the scheme?" said Mr Ramesh.
He also said that the coverage of diseases in the scheme is also not efficient.
"India which has the highest number of diabetes cases is not included in the scheme. Similarly, high blood pressure is not covered in the scheme. This scheme is hollow," he said.