Jharkhand: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday launched the Ayushman Bharat -Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) in Ranchi on Sunday. The scheme, touted as the "world's largest government-funded health care programme", targets more than 50 crore beneficiaries.

The scheme will provide a cover of up to Rs 5,00,000 per family per year, for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation through a network of empanelled health care providers (EHCP).

"The scheme will cover the treatment of more than 1,300 illnesses including cancer, heart disease, kidney and liver disease and diabetes. Treating serious diseases will not only be carried out in government but in many private hospitals also. If someone has any prior illness then the cost of the disease will be raised by this scheme. More than 13,000 hospitals have been associated with the Ayushman Bharat scheme," said PM Modi.

Meanwhile, Union home minister Rajnath Singh also launched the scheme in Lucknow, noting, "Today is a historic day for the country. The scheme will prove 'Modi kawach' (shield) for the poor and will be highly beneficial for them." In Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath launched the Ayushman Bharat scheme.

However, Telangana has not joined the initiative as of now and would continue to implement its health scheme Aarogyasri that covers nearly 80 lakh families, official sources said.

The government is also working on a proposal to launch a health television channel, NITI Aayog member V K Paul said. "It will help in spreading the message of healthcare, create a Jan Andolan (people movement) around these very important issues," he said.