Health sector is slowly getting its due attention from government with a slew of schemes being announced for citizens. After schemes like National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) and Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY), government has announced two major health initiatives, packaged under one umbrella programme- ‘Ayushman Bharat Programme’. These schemes are aimed at addressing both prevention and health promotion at primary, secondary and tertiary health care systems and boost India’s health infrastructure by 2022.
The details of the programme are stated as:
1. Health and Wellness Centre- 1.5 L health sub- centres will be transformed into Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs). These centres are envisioned as foundation of India’s health system according to the National Health Policy, 2017.
These centres will be providing comprehensive health care, free essential drugs and diagnostic services. Health care services for non-communicable diseases and maternal and child health services are covered under it.
Rs. 1200 crore budget has been allocated for the programme.
• Community outreach to strengthen health promotion and disease prevention.
• Enhancing the efficiency and infrastructure of the existing systems
2. National Health Protection Scheme- Under this scheme, 10 crore families will be provided Rs. 5 lakh cover per family annually for treatment.
It is supposed to be world’s largest government funded health care programme. State governments are expected to contribute 40% of the cost and are being encouraged to merge it with state funded health insurance schemes.
• Easing the financial burden of needy families facing ailments
• To provide for sufficient funding
• Capacity building in health sector in terms of skilled manpower and infrastructure.
• Prevention of fraudulent billing by hospitals
With these initiatives, government is giving health sector the much needed attention. The loopholes and failures of previous initiatives need to be properly analyzed and avoided for these initiatives to success.