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CAG Report On PMJAY: 7.5 Lakh Beneficiaries Linked to One Invalid Phone Number

The report stated that inadequate validation controls led to faults in the Beneficiary Identification System.

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Over 10 lakh beneficiaries of the central government's Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana are linked to invalid numbers.

  • Nearly 7.5 lakh beneficiaries were linked to the same invalid mobile number – 9999999999.

  • Nearly 1.4 lakh beneficiaries were linked to the same invalid mobile number – 8888888888.

  • Over 96,000 people had the phone number – 9000000000

  • Nearly 50,000 beneficiaries were also linked to at least 20 other invalid phone numbers. 

In a report tabled in the Lok Sabha on Monday, 7 August, the Comptroller and Auditor General identified several discrepancies in the database of the AB-PMJAY scheme.

This is concerning because:

“Mobile numbers are significant for searching records related to any beneficiary in the database, who may approach the registration desk without the ID. In case of loss of e-card, identification of the beneficiary may also become difficult. This may result in denial of scheme benefits to eligible beneficiaries as well as denial of pre- and post-admission communication causing inconvenience to them.”
CAG Report

The report states that errors like invalid names, dates of birth, family size, etc, have led to the loss of crores of rupees, which have been spent on “ineligible beneficiaries.”

What was in the report? FIT tells you all that you need to know.

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What were the errors? According to the report, apart from the errors in linking the phone numbers, these were the loopholes found:

  • In 36 cases, two registrations were made against 18 Aadhaar numbers.

  • In Tamil Nadu, 4,761 registrations were made against seven Aadhaar numbers.

  • In 43,197 households, the size of the family ranged from 11-201 members.

The report also identifies bigger gaps in hospital infrastructure and management:

  • Lack of equipment

  • Vacancies for doctors

  • Non-functional equipment

  • Non-conformation to quality standards

  • Issues with fire safety measures

  • Inadequate pollution control measures

  • Inadequate ways to manage biomedical waste

  • Issues with certification of hospital registrations

The report also pointed out another concerning figure.

  • Only 1.8 hospitals in Bihar were available per lakh beneficiaries.

  • In Maharashtra, the number was at 3.

  • In Assam, the number was at 3.4.

  • Dadra Nagar Haveli-Daman Diu, 3.6 hospitals were available per lakh beneficiaries.

  • Rajasthan had 3.8 hospitals per lakh beneficiaries.

  • Uttar Pradesh had just 5 hospitals per lakh beneficiaries.

  • Goa did slightly well at 26.6 hospitals.

The figures are also concerning because many of these hospitals did not provide facilities that the beneficiaries can avail under the scheme.
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How did the errors slip in? The report stated that inadequate validation controls led to faults in the Beneficiary Identification System (BIS). 

Between 2018-2021, the following ineligible beneficiaries were identified:

  • 16,865 in Jammu & Kashmir

  • 335 in Ladakh

In the same time period, Rs 0.12 lakh were spent on ineligible beneficiaries in Chandigarh, and Rs 22.44 crore in Tamil Nadu. 

Similarly, pensioners in many states and union territories who were not eligible for PMJAY were found availing benefits of the scheme.

Background details: The AB-PMJAY, the centre’s flagship public health insurance scheme, was rolled out in 2018 to extend healthcare support to about 50 crore people in the country.

The CAG report was tabled in the Rajya Sabha after Bharatiya Janata Party’s Neeraj Shekhar and Janata Dal (United)’s Ram Nath Thaku raised questions about the use of artificial intelligence for AB-PMJAY.

What next? The CAG report states,

“It is expected that the compliance to the observations and recommendations made in this report will help in improving the implementation of the scheme.”

However, the report also mentioned that with the deployment of the BIS 2.0 by the National Health Authority, “these issues shall be resolved.”

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Topics:  India   Health   CAG 

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