New Delhi, India, 15th December 2021: Dr. Azad Moopen, Founder Chairman and Managing Director of Aster DM Healthcare and Ms. Alisha Moopen – Deputy Managing Director, Aster DM Healthcare met Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya, Hon’ble Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Chemicals & Fertilizers – India, to discuss various measures to strengthen India’s healthcare sector. Visiting to attend the India Global Forum 2022 in UAE, the Union Health Minister of India joined the meeting alongside Hon. Joint Secretary of Ministry of Health & Family Welfare – Mr. Lav Agarwal; H.E Sunjay Sudhir – Ambassador of India to UAE; and Dr. Aman Puri – Hon. Consul General of India in Dubai, key business leaders and delegates from UAE.

Dr. Azad Moopen, who is also the Director of NORKA (Non-Resident Keralite’s Affairs), discussed the plight of low income NRIs regarding major illnesses after their retirement and return to India. For this, he presented a letter of consideration to the Health Minister with a request to consider 2 schemes, namely Inclusion of NRIs in Ayushman Bharat (PM-JAY) and Participatory Insurance for NRI Returnees.

Speaking on the proposed scheme, Dr. Moopen said, “India has over 18 million people living outside with UAE, US and Saudi Arabia hosting the largest number of migrants. Among these, there are large number of blue-collar workers who have only meager savings when they return to India after retirement. This is especially true for the large number of manual workers in GCC countries that has the largest density of low income NRI population. Major illnesses like heart attack, stroke, cancer mostly strike after the age of 60 requiring huge spends for treatment. Unfortunately, majority of them are not eligible for coverage under insurance schemes like Ayushman Bharat (PM-JAY) because of their foreign employment history.”

The proposed scheme to include low-income NRIs under Ayushman Bharat (PM-JAY) would ensure life-long coverage for each individual along with their spouses. The scheme for participatory insurance for NRI returnees proposes an option for NRIs to remit the premium on a monthly or annual basis while they are working abroad. In general, NRIs start working abroad by the age of 25 to 30 years and return to India upon retirement by 60 years of age. They could remit the premiums for a period of 20 to 30 years in small installments. In this way significant amount will accumulate while they are outside the country, which can be utilized to provide coverage for the NRI and spouse for the rest of their lifetime.

Aster DM healthcare is the only healthcare provider to operate outside while being listed in India. The UAE originated company led by Dr. Azad Moopen started with a single clinic in Dubai in 1987 and has emerged as one of the largest integrated healthcare provider in India and GCC with 455 facilities. While the company has been present in India since 2002 through Aster MIMS Hospital in Calicut, Kerala, Aster got listed on the Indian stock exchange in 2018. Currently Aster has 14 hospitals, 77 pharmacies,[1] 9 labs and 9 clinics in India.