After the Modi government came to power, the focus and expenditure of the central government in preventive healthcare increased manifold. Programs like Swachh Bharat and was launched to provide the people of country cleaner and healthier surrounding. After the government won the second term, it turned focus on clean water to improve the quality of life of people and announced 3.6 lakh crore rupees to Jal Jeevan Mission.
In the budget this year too, preventive healthcare was the focus of the government. The FM announced that the government will use modern technology to improve the preventive health care system. “Using machine learning and AI, in the Ayushman Bharat scheme, health authorities and the medical fraternity can target disease with an appropriately designed preventive regime,” said the finance minister.
In the budget, the government also announced that the more hospitals from smaller cities will be empanelled under the Ayushman Bharat Yojna. “Presently, under PM Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY), there are more than 20,000 empanelled hospitals. We need more in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities for poorer people under this scheme. We also propose a scheme wherein a medical college will be attached to a district hospital in PPP mode, viability gap funding to be set up for setting up such medical colleges. The viability gap funding window will cover hospitals, with priority given to aspirational districts that don’t have hospitals empanelled under Ayushman Bharat. Details of the scheme will be worked out soon,” said Nirmala Sithraman.
The government has integrated the Wellness, Water, and Sanitation under the aspirational India theme. The government announced a total of 69,000 crore rupees for the health sector and 3,000 crore rupees for training of hospital staff.
Public healthcare is in a dire state in the country, as the Congress Party which ruled the country for decades could not provide universal healthcare despite its repeated promises to do so in every election manifesto. Healthcare in the country has primarily been in private hands being very expensive, therefore most of the poor people are denied affordable care.
Ayushman Bharat, the flagship healthcare scheme of Modi government, has completed 1 year since its launch by PM in Jharkhand. The scheme covers 10 crore of the poorest families in the country, or almost 50 crore people, and therefore, is the largest public healthcare scheme in the world. Currently it covers almost 40 per cent of the population in India but the government aims to expand it to bring three fourths of the Indian population under the scheme.
According to the draft of the National Health Policy, “Over 63 million people are faced with poverty every year due to healthcare costs alone. It is because there is no financial protection for the vast majority of healthcare needs.” Ayushman Bharat will curb the out of pocket healthcare expenditure and help people to come out of the vicious cycle of poverty and disease.
The poor and needy were earlier required to sell their assets in order to get quality healthcare or landed up borrowing money from Sahukars who levied heavy interests. The share of non-regular expenditure on healthcare in proportion to total household monthly per capita expenditure stood at 6.9 per cent in rural areas and 5.5 per cent in urban areas.
The scheme launched by Modi government is the largest health coverage in the world. It will provide 5 lakh rupees health insurance cover to 50 crore people, which is nearly 40 per cent of the population of the country. Besides the insurance cover, the government will create 1, 50,000 wellness centres across the country under the Ayushman Bharat scheme. The families expected to get the benefits of the scheme will be identified from the Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC), 2011 data.
The focus on Preventive healthcare by the Modi government follows the basic principle of the health sector: Prevention is better than cure. The Modi government is taking steps for preventive healthcare on one hand and on the other, every person is provided with healthcare insurance coverage of 5 lakh rupees, which means, the government is taking care of healthcare of the people throughout the lifelike any developed welfare country.