Ayushman Bharat scam: 7.5 lakh beneficiaries linked to single number, flags CAG

The Comptroller-Auditor General's report revealed that even dead people received treatment

PM Ayushman Bharat Yojana (Photo: gstsuvidhakendra.org)
PM Ayushman Bharat Yojana (Photo: gstsuvidhakendra.org)

NH Political Bureau

In a severe indictment of the Modi government, the Comptroller-Auditor General of India (CAG) has revealed that nearly 7.5 lakh beneficiaries registered under the Ayushman Bharat — Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) were linked with a single mobile number — 9999999999.

Analysing the data, stored in the Beneficiary Identification System (BIS) of the scheme, the CAG report, released on August 8, highlighted irregularities in the identification of the beneficiaries.

Even dead people have received treatment under the scheme, the report has flagged.  

“Data analysis of the BIS database revealed that there were large numbers of beneficiaries registered against the same or invalid mobile number. Overall, 1119 to 7,49,820 beneficiaries were linked with a single mobile number in the BIS database…,” the report stated.

According to the report, the other most used mobile number are: 8888888888, 9000000000, 20, 1435, and 185397. When dialled, these mobile numbers either remained switched off or were invalid.

The report titled "Performance Audit of Ayushman Bharat" observed that states such as Chhattisgarh, Hryana, Jharkhand, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh have reported the maximum number of such cases.

Pointing out that the same patients got admission to multiple hospitals during the same period of hospitalisation, CAG in its report said that there was no mechanism to prevent such malpractice.

“Data analysis of mortality cases in TMS revealed that 88,760 patients died during treatment specified under the Scheme. A total of 2,14,923 claims are shown as paid in the system, related to fresh treatment in respect of these patients. The audit further noted that in 3,903 of the above claims amounting to Rs 6.97 crore pertaining to 3,446 patients were paid to hospitals,” the report reads.

Highlighting the unrealistic household size for registered beneficiaries under PMJAY, the CAG report said, Data analysis revealed that in 43,197 households, the size of the family was unrealistic, ranging from 11 to 201 members…” the report noted.

“Presence of such unrealistic members in a household in the BIS database indicates not only lack of essential validation controls in the beneficiary registration process, but also the possibility that beneficiaries are taking advantage of the lack of a clear definition of family in the guidelines.”

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