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‘Modicare’ is World’s Largest Government Funded Health Care Programme

Health Sector Initiatives, as part of Ayushman Bharat Programme, aimed at making path breaking interventions to address health holistically, in primary, secondary and tertiary care systems, covering both prevention and health promotion, that will build a New India 2022, were announced by the Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Shri Arun Jaitely while presenting the General Budget 2018-19 in Parliament on February 01, 2018. The two major initiatives will ensure enhanced productivity, well-being and avert wage loss and impoverishment and generate lakhs of jobs, particularly for women. These are:

Health and Wellness Centre

  • Envisioned as the foundation of India’s health system under the National Health Policy, 2017 will bring health care system closer to the homes of people at 1.5 lakh centres.
  • These centres will provide comprehensive health care, including for non-communicable diseases and maternal and child health services.
  • These centres will also provide free essential drugs and diagnostic services.
  • The Budget has allocated ₹1200 crore for this flagship programme.
  • Contribution of private sector through CSR and philanthropic institutions in adopting these centres is also envisaged.

National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS):

  • Will cover over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families, with approximately 50 crore beneficiaries, by providing a health insurance cover of up to ₹5 lakh rupees per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization.
  • NHPS will be the World’s largest Government funded Health Care Programme.
  • Adequate funds will be provided for smooth implementation of this programme.
  • The government will pay the premium with the States’ share.
  • ₹ 2,000 crore has been kept for it as of now.
  • Central and state governments split expenditure in any healthcare programme in 60:40 ratios.
  • Implementation of NHPS will require ₹10000-12000 crore.
  • All the diseases will be covered under NHPS. It is not only health insurance.
  • Although NHPS will be Aadhaar-linked, even in the absence of an Aadhaar card, a patient will not be denied treatment.
  • NHPS will see states interlinked, which means a patient residing in one state will be able to avail treatment in another.

“We are slowly progressing towards universal health coverage,” Jaitley said, and added that in order to further enhance accessibility of quality medical education and health care, 24 new Government Medical Colleges and Hospitals will be set up, by up-grading existing district hospitals in the country. This would ensure that there is at least 1 Medical College for every 3 Parliamentary Constituencies and at least 1 Government Medical College in each State of the country.

“This will change the face of health care in India and we will no longer have families breaking down under the financial burden of medical care,” Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda spoke about the National Health Protection Scheme, dubbed “Modicare”,  and added that the Budget 2018 has seen an 11.5% increase in the allocation for the health sector. The government was working on the intricate details of the scheme and would come out with a definite plan soon. “We are confident about the scheme. Finances will never be a problem. Details will be given out as soon as we are ready to implement it,”

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