Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with National Health Authority (NHA) for providing a Comprehensive Medical Package to Transgender Persons under Ayushman Bharat-PMJAY today at Dr. Ambedkar International Centre, New Delhi. MoU was signed by secretary Shri R. Subrahmanyam, Department of Social Justice and Empowerment under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and Dr. R.S. Sharma Chief executive officer National Health Authority, under the Ministry of Health and family welfare in the presence of Dr. Virendra Kumar, Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment and Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare.
On this occasion, Union Minister Dr. Virendra Kumar said that this joint initiative of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Ministry of Social Welfare and Empowerment is first of its kind in the Country and will not only give a new direction to our society, but also provide Transgender Persons rightful and respectable place in the society.
The Minister said that under this medical health package, a special “Ayushman Bharat TG Plus” card is being provided for the transgender society by linking the SMILE scheme with the “Ayushman Bharat Scheme” of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, under which more than 50 health facilities are being provided. Benefits will be given free of cost. Going a step further for the bisexual society, provision has been made for cosmetic surgery under this card. India will be the first country in the world to provide free of cost facilities like cosmetic surgery to the transgender community under a government scheme. Simultaneously, a person belonging to a transgender society from any state, any part of India will be able to take advantage of this card in any hospital affiliated with Ayushman Bharat.
Dr. Virendra Kumar said that Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay is committed to realize his dream of “Antyodaya” to bring every oppressed and marginalized section of the society into the mainstream and in that direction, the MoU is being signed. This is a very important step. This joint initiative of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment will not only give a new direction to our society, but will also give its proper and respectable place to the transgender society. He said Government of India is dedicated for bringing change in the society with steps for five assurances: Education, Life with dignity, Health support, Opportunities for livelihood and Skill Enhancement.
On this occasion, Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare that the government is working in a decisive way to not only recognize rights of the transgender community but has taken various systematic steps for their welfare. He congratulated the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment for taking several initiatives for the transgender community, be it “The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019”, Garima Greh, PM Daksh program or other schemes/initiatives taken recently.
Dr. Mandaviya said that today’s MoU between National Health Authority (NHA) and the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment (MoSJE) will extend all healthcare benefits to transgender persons (holding a transgender certificate issued by the National Portal for transgender persons) across the country. MoSJE will fund Rs.5 lakh insurance cover per transgender beneficiary per annum. A comprehensive package master is being prepared for transgender category including the existing AB PM-JAY packages and specific packages (Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS) and treatment) for transgenders. 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.
Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is providing identity cards to the people of the transgender society by registering them at the central level, provision of scholarship has been made, transgender protection cells are being set up, skill development programs are being done as well as provision has also been made for the bisexual society for a “comprehensive medical health package”.
Senior officials from both two ministries and members from transgender community were also present at the event .