Transgender persons will now get composite healthcare services under the Ayushman Bharat-PMJAY with a memorandum of understanding (MoU) being signed between the National Health Authority and the Department of Social Justice and Empowerment.
Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Wednesday, 24 August, hailed the MoU as one of its kind in the country which will give impetus to ensuring rightful and respectable place for transgenders. The MoU will extend all healthcare benefits to transgender persons (holding a transgender certificate issued by the National Portal for transgender persons) across the country, Mandaviya said.
The ministry of social justice and empowerment (MOSJE) will fund Rs 5 lakh insurance cover per transgender beneficiary per annum.
A comprehensive package is being prepared for transgender category including the existing Ayushman Bharat - Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB PM-JAY) packages and specific packages like Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS) and treatment for transgenders, he said.
They will be eligible to seek treatment in any of the AB PM-JAY empanelled hospitals across the country, where specific packages are available. The scheme would cover all transgender persons not receiving such benefits from other centre/state sponsored schemes.
Landmark Transformational Reform
The MoU was signed by Dr RS Sharma, CEO, National Health Authority (NHA) and R Subramanyam, Secretary DoSJE in presence of Mandaviya, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare and Virendra Kumar, Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment.
“This MOU has laid the foundation for a landmark transformational reform in the society. The move, which provides special healthcare benefits to the transgender community, goes beyond ensuring equality for the disadvantaged community”, he highlighted.
Noting that the transgender community suffers stigma and exclusion, he stressed that the provisioning of healthcare services under AB-PMJAY is a significant and firm step towards an inclusive society.
“It is only apt that the MOU is being signed at Dr Ambedkar International Centre today, as he championed for an inclusive society with equality across all population groups in the country”, Mandaviya stated.
The minister emphasised that the government is working in a decisive way to not only recognise rights of the transgender community but has taken various systematic steps for their welfare.
“Disadvantaged communities can progress with dignity and self reliance with collaboration of “Sarkar and Society”, the minister stated.
The Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment said that transformative change is happening in the country with strong political will to implement this change.
Enumerating several steps taken by MoSJE for implementing the package of five assurances of education, life with dignity, health support, opportunities for livelihood and skill enhancement, he said these steps have been taken to ensure that marginalized and disadvantaged sections of the population can emerge from restrictive social constructs by providing them dignified life and livelihood.