The government has committed itself to the health care of millions of poor and vulnerable Indians through the National Health Policy Scheme (Ayushman Bharat), also known as ‘Namocare’ or ‘Modicare’. This will increase
Earlier in the year, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley described this scheme as the world’s largest health plan. The government’s national portal outlines the scheme to have a defined benefit cover of Rs5 lakh per family per year. The common man will take advantage of cashless benefits from any public or private impaneled hospitals across the country. “The payments for treatment will be done on package rate basis which will be defined by the government.”
The Financial Express reported that “the government aims to raise the medium cover up to 17 times from the existing Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) that caps it at Rs30,000 per year.” Health Minister JP Nadda said the budget was not an issue. The government was committed to the people’s health care.
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Moreover, the National Health Policy Scheme has set premiums for Rs1100 and Rs1200. “Each of the beneficiary family registered under the scheme will be able to take Rs5 lakh benefit on yearly basis for medical treatments.” The government had directed the states to bear part of the finance to extend health cover. “The states will be given the option to adopt either an insurance company or a trust model that falls under the Government’s Health Insurance,” said Nadda.
Little Known Facts About the Scheme
- Beneficiaries will not be issued registration cards (issuing of cards is time-consuming).
- Beneficiaries have been identified through the Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) data.
- Families will get specific QR codes (will contain information about the families and their members).
- All major surgeries (including heart) and treatments for cancer will be covered
- 22 states will run the scheme on the trust model.
- Odisha refused to be part of the scheme.
While the scheme is applaudable, the government has to acknowledge and address the shortage of doctors and medical facilities for the growing population. Furthermore, the common man deserves ‘good’ health care like his fellow upper-class citizens. The government should also be mindful of the plight of government hospitals which millions of common man are able to afford.
Besides, a scheme is not enough to address health care, especially in India. It is an ongoing process. A healthcare watchdog should be set up in every state to address the health care issues and grievances of the common man. Healthcare is now a basic human right and need.