National Health Protection Scheme: Modi government has its task cut out

National Health Protection Scheme: Modi government has its task cut out

The Centre has chose to launch a flagship National Health Protection Scheme under which up to Rs five lakh will be provided to families every year for secondary and tertiary healthcare.

Union finance minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday announced the Revitalising Infrastructure and Systems in Education (Rise) with a total investment of Rs 1,00,000 crore in next four years to step up investments in research and related infrastructure in premier educational institutions.

- Former Health Secretary Shailaja Chandra said the scheme may succeed in tackling the institutional challenges, as the state governments will have to bear 40 per cent of the medical charges incurred by the NHPS beneficiaries. The veteran Congress leader that the BJP government was not serious about the scheme as it has not allocated any money for the scheme in the budget. I am committing Rs 1,200 crore in this budget for this flagship programme.

New Deli: Keeping in view of the upcoming election, which will take place in the next year, Modi government's biggest health care programme is seen as a signature initiative to woo voters, many of them who struggle with high health care costs.

India has announced an ambitious health insurance scheme, which is created to be a safety net for millions of people who struggle to afford medical care.

The premium for every household for the insurance scheme is expected to be around Rs 1,000 to 1,200 annually.

Health and wellness centres: The 1.5 Lakh Health and wellness centres will now also cover besides maternal and child care, non-communicable diseases with free drugs and diagnostic facilities.

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If assuming the model to be insurance led, the premium shrinks with the increase in number of policy holders, he said at the event organised by Open magazine.

"There is a huge supply gap especially in North India which would make things hard", Sujatha Rao says explaining how there are just not enough facilities to take care of the demand if the scheme is implemented.

The Centre's share will be 60 per cent, about ₹6,000 crore, while the rest will come from the States. Arun Jaitley in his budget speech said 50 crore people would benefit from the scheme. The US Affordable Care Act also ensures that in case of chronic illness, policyholders get health cover even if they have run out of coverage.

Besides the health cover, Jaitley also earmarked Rs 600 crore as nutritional support for tuberculosis patients.

Mustafa Daginawalla, CFO, Saifee Hospital, said, "The Budget has given a lot of impetus to the health sector by emphasising on the needs of senior citizens and underprivileged".

In the absence of quick and effective steps to remove the existing inadequacies, the new insurance scheme will prove to be only an aid to private hospitals to increase their business as the patients will prefer to go to private hospitals since the cost and expenses will not be much of an issue then. One will have to wait and watch how the Modi government is planning to implement this behemoth of a healthcare scheme. He also narrated how private hospitals would inflate costs.

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