Angioplasty tops the list of high-end medical procedures, in line with Modi govt’s stance that the scheme will allow the poor access to speciality treatment.
New Delhi: Cardiac treatment has topped the list of high-end medical procedures that most beneficiaries of Ayushman Bharat — the Modi government’s flagship health insurance scheme — have undergone.
Data with the National Health Agency, the Health Ministry body tasked with implementing the project, shows that since its launch in September, angioplasty — a treatment to open arteries in the heart by inserting a tiny tube called a stent — has been the most performed high-end medical procedure among hospitals empanelled with the scheme.
Other heart-disease-related treatment such as coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) and valve replacement are on the top five on the list, which also includes two orthopaedic procedures — polytrauma and joint replacement.
Cardiac treatment topping the list is a shot in the arm for the Modi government as it has been promoting the scheme as one that would ensure that poor vulnerable families can access ‘high-end’ tertiary healthcare.
The heart treatment procedures are costly in private hospitals — ranging from anywhere between Rs 3 lakh and Rs 8 lakh. Under Ayushman Bharat, formally known as the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, the treatment is free as it provides the poor with an annual insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh.
According to the NHS data, in less than 90 days since its launch, over six lakh people have availed treatment under Ayushman Bharat, of whom, 1.9 lakh people have undergone high-end specialty care procedures. The government has so far disbursed over Rs 800 crore under the scheme.
Of the 1.9 lakh, 16,825 patients have been operated for angioplasty followed by 14,742, who have undergone polytrauma treatment. Polytrauma occurs when a person experiences injuries to multiple body parts, such as the spinal cord, due to severe accidents such as blast-related events.
CABG is third on the list with 5,508 cases while 2,932 patients have undergone heart valve replacement. The CABG is a procedure where a healthy artery or vein from the body is connected, or grafted, to the blocked coronary artery, bypassing the artery.
The presence of heart diseases on the list isn’t surprising as over 28 lakh people die in India every year due to cardiovascular diseases.
According to Lancet, the prevalence of heart disease and stroke has increased by over 50 per cent in India between 1990 and 2016. The contribution of these diseases to total deaths and disease burden in the country has almost doubled in the past 25 years.
“The data re-confirms that heart disease is the leading cause of death due to any medical condition in India. The top three procedures — angioplasty, CABG and valve replacement — are life-saving treatments unlike knee-replacement or orthopaedic implants,” said Dr. K.K. Aggarwal, cardiologist and President of the Heart Care Foundation of India.
“Moreover, another reason is hospitals are happy to take admissions for these three procedures as reimbursement rates are satisfactory.”
The reimbursement rates under the scheme for these procedures range anywhere between Rs 80,000 to Rs 1 lakh.