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Interim Budget 2024-25: Ayushman Bharat Scheme Benefits To Be Extended To ASHA, Anganwadi Workers

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday announced that the government's flagship Ayushman Bharat scheme will be extended to all ASHA and Anganwadi workers.

Anganwadi workers in Solapur in Maharashtra staging a protest in 2023 demanding a wage hike
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While presenting the Interim Budget 2024-25 in the Lok Sabha on Thursday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that the government's flagship Ayushman Bharat scheme will be extended to all ASHA and Anganwadi workers.

The scheme, that aims to achieve universal health coverage, was rolled out by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 23, 2018. The scheme has two components - Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs) and Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY).

Under this scheme, the poor and people with lower middle income (beneficiaries) are provided with coverage upto Rs 5 lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation, and can also avail cashless services.

Until December 2023, around 55 crore people were covered under the scheme. The healthcare cover will now also be extended to all Asha, Anganwadi workers and helpers, the Finance Minister announced on Thursday.

At the beginning of the presentation of the interim budget, the finance minister reiterated that the needs and aspirations of four major castes - poor, women, youth and farmer - will be prioritised by the government.

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