The NHA, which implements the national health insurance scheme, said this will strengthen the country's response to the novel coronavirus pandemic."Testing and treatment of COVID-19 are already available for free in public facilities. Now, more than 50 crore citizens, eligible under the health assurance scheme will be able to avail free testing through private labs and treatment for COVID-19 in empanelled hospitals," it said in a statement.
Hospitals empanelled under the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) can use their authorized testing facilities or tie-up with an authorized testing facility, the NHA said.
The COVID-19 tests will be carried out as per protocols of the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) and by private labs approved or registered by it, the authority said. Treatment of COVID-19 by private hospitals will be covered under the AB-PMJAY, it said.
"In this unprecedented crisis we have to very actively involve the private sector as a key partner and stakeholder in the fight against COVID-19," Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said. "Making testing and treatment available under Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY will significantly expand our capacities by including private sector hospitals and labs and mitigate the adverse impact of this catastrophic illness on the poor," he said.
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