Ayushman Bharat Health Scheme : Important Topics for UPSC Exams


Ayushman Bharat Health Scheme : Important Topics for UPSC Exams


Why in News?

  • Union Budget 2018-19 has laid foundation of the flagship program Ayushman Bharat to address health holistically, in primary, secondary and tertiary care systems, covering both prevention and health promotion and it is supposed to be the world’s largest government funded health care programme.

  • Union cabinet has approved the launch of Ayushman Bharat — National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM).

  • The new scheme of NHPS will be applicable from the beginning of the new financial year i.e. April 1, 2018.

What is Ayushman Bharat Programme? 

There are two health sector initiatives under Ayushman Bharat Programme which will ensure enhanced productivity, wellbeing and avert wage loss and impoverishment. 

1.Health and Wellness Centre

  • Aim of opening more than 1.5 lakh health and wellness centers across the country, which will provide free essential medicines and diagnostic services.

  • These centers will also provide comprehensive health care for non-communicable diseases and maternal and child Services. In these centers, special training will also be provided for the treatment of lifestyle diseases, such as high blood pressure, diabetes etc. The Government has made a provision of Rs. 1200 crores for establishing Health and Wellness Centre.

  • The government also seeks for the cooperation of the corporate to run these centers.

2.National Health Protection Scheme

  • Health insurance coverage of up to ₹5 lakh a family a year, for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization.

  • Scheme will cover over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families, or around 50 crore people.

  • The beneficiaries will be entitled for the treatments with in the country in government as well as private hospitals and health care centres.

  • The scheme would be Aadhaar enabled and cashless.

Modicare Vs Obama Care

  • The United States government had provided health insurance for 15 percent of its population. US President Barack Obama signed the 2010 plan on 'ObamaCare'.

  • On the same lines, India's Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has announced a plan called 'Modicare' i.e. the Ayushman Bharat Program. In which 40% of the poor Indian people will be benefitted, which is much higher than Obama Care.

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Funding of the scheme

Initial budget of the scheme is Rs 2000 crores, in addition the money coming from Cess, (Education and health Cess increased by 1%) will also be invested in this scheme.

Other steps taken to promote Medical Sector in Budget 2018-19

  • 24 new Government Medical Colleges and Hospitals will be set up in order to further enhance accessibility of quality medical education and health care, 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.

  • Presently around 67,000 MBBS and 31000, post graduate (PG) doctors are coming out every year from private and government medical colleges in the country. At AIIMS's convocation, President Ramnath Kovind had mentioned that this number of doctors for treatment in the country of 130 million people is very low.

  • Government will provide Rs 500 per month to the TB patients, for which a provision of Rs 600 crores has been made in the Budget. Previously, government has also targeted the elimination of TB by 2025.

Way Forward-

After a 12 percent increase over last year, the budget of the Ministry of Health has reached Rs 56,226 crore. The National Health Policy 2017 had envisioned for the expenditure on health to be 2.5 percent of GDP, but this goal is still not visible since only 1.2 percent of GDP has been allocated to the health sector. Although Nobody can deny that Ayushman Bharat Program will give India a new status in the medical field but it is very difficult to run such a big plan smoothly. If India's government does it properly, then it will be a great achievement in the health sector.

MODEL QUESTIONS

Q. Which of the following statement about Ayushman Bharat Program is wrong?

A. Ayushman Bharat Programme which will ensure enhanced productivity, wellbeing and avert wage loss and impoverishment. 

B. It has aim of opening more than 1.5 lakh health and wellness centers across the country.

C. Initial budget of the scheme is Rs 2000 crores, in addition the money coming from Cess.

D. Health insurance coverage of up to ₹8 lakh a family a year, for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization is provisioned under the scheme.

Answer-D

Q. What is the requirement of Schemes like Ayushman Bharat? Do you think Ayushman Bharat can be a game changer in the health sector?

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