Published: Sat, February 03, 2018
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

Govt to roll out health cover scheme from next fiscal: Arun Jaitley

Govt to roll out health cover scheme from next fiscal: Arun Jaitley

Addressing a press conference here a day after the presentation of the Union Budget by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Mr Nadda said, "The Namocare covered all the components of healthcare including primary, secondary and tertiary". "It will increase the productivity of the common man and bring about a change in the socio-economic scheme", said Mr Nadda. "It's not on reimbursement model because too many complaints come on the reimbursement model". A provisional allocation of Rs. 2,000 crore has been made for the scheme in the Budget.

The scheme, touted as the world's largest government-funded healthcare programme, is aimed at benefiting 100 million poor families through health coverage of up to Rs5 lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary healthcare. "On life insurance, the Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana, including Rs. 2 lakh life cover, is being pushed across a larger base which is a great sign".

Separately, RSS-affiliated Swadeshi Jagran Manch cautioned the government against engaging foreign insurance companies for providing health cover to the poor. States like Rajasthan, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu run their medical insurance schemes where most of the premium is borne by the state while in some cases beneficiaries pay a token amount.

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The scheme, that has been called "Modicare" largely on the lines of Obamacare, 100 million families, or about 500 million poor people, with a health cover of 500,000 rupees per year for free treatment of serious ailments. "For this Rs2,000 crore has been kept for it as of now", said Nadda.

Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said the challenge is not resources for the scheme but challenge is its implementation.

On Thursday, Jaitley in the Budget speech said, "We are all aware that lakhs of families in our country have to borrow or sell assets to receive indoor treatment in hospitals. Present RSBY provides annual coverage of only Rs 30,000 to poor families".

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Several state government has their own health care schemes but they are generally small or poorly implemented.

The finance minister urged the private sector to support the government's healthcare initiatives through their corporate social responsibility and philanthropic activities.

The officials, relying on the premium per household that states such as Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, or Tamil Nadu pay for their existing health-protection schemes, estimate that the national scheme could cost about Rs 12,000 crore.

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"The building of health and wellness centres will be the best building in the village and it will also provide yoga and physiotherapy facilities", he said.

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