Making NHPM work

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement on Independence Day that Ayushman Bharat, or the National Health Protection Mission, will be launched formally on September 25 sends out the signal that the government is finally recognising the linkages between health care and economic development. Political parties have not yet made the right to health a campaign issue, and the National Health Policy does not recommend such a right since it cannot be fulfilled. But there is increasing awareness that it is unsustainable for a country of 1.3 billion people to rely on household savings to pay for health care. The NHPM is an ambitious initiative, providing a coverage of Rs. 5 lakh per family a year to 10 crore families chosen through the Socio-Economic Caste Census, mainly rural poor and identified urban workers. State governments, which will administer it through their own agency, will have to purchase care from a variety of players, including in the private sector, at pre-determined rates. Reaching a consensus on treatment costs through a transparent consultative process is vital for a smooth and steady rollout. A large-scale Information Technology network for cashless treatment should be set up and validated. Since a majority of the families will be rural, and the secondary and tertiary public hospital infrastructure suffers from severe efficiency and accountability problems, State governments should upgrade the administrative systems.

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-opinion/making-nhpm-work/article24699620.ece

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