World’s largest healthcare scheme to be launched on 25th September 2018

1:04 pm Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India, Medicine

The Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Abhiyan (PMJAA) aims to provide cover of Rs 5 lakh per family annually

New Delhi, 09 September 2018: The launch date for the ambitious health insurance scheme, the Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Abhiyan (PMJAA), was announced recently by the Hon’ble Prime Minister. The PMJAA, touted as the world’s largest healthcare scheme, aims to provide a cover of Rs.5 lakh per family annually, benefiting more than 10 crore poor families. It will be launched on 25thSeptember 2018.

Medical expenditure remains one of the primary concerns for people in the country which makes it imperative for further focus on making healthcare affordable for one and all. Apart from PMJAA, the National Health Policy 2017 envisioned ‘health and wellness centres’ as the foundation of India’s health. The idea is to set up 1.5 lakh wellness centres with the hope of bringing health care closer to the homes of the people.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI , said, “It is encouraging to know that the health insurance scheme that was envisaged is being launched soon. However, it remains to be seen what it will achieve going forward. Affordable and quality healthcare is every citizen’s right and the government must ensure they receive it too. Apart from this, there is also a need to ensure a centralized health savings scheme with a centralized fund management. This will bring services to a larger segment of the society and help in realizing the goal of healthcare for all. The MTNL Perfect Health Mela this year has affordable healthcare as the theme and will focus on some of these issues. It will be held between 24th and 28th October 2018 at the Talkatora Indoor Stadium, New Delhi.”

As per a recent report, only 27% of Indians have health insurance coverage. The Indian healthcare sector is largely under penetrated with government expenditure constituting approximately 1.4% of the country’s GDP. The private sector expenditure constitutes 70% of the total healthcare expenditure. Of this, about 62% is out of pocket and only 8% is covered through pre-financed instruments.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, “Quality always comes at a price. Quality treatment is costlier but in the long-term, it is economical as it is associated with fewer hospital-acquired infections, complications, adverse drug reactions, re-hospitalization, as well as fewer system failures. Quality is always preferred but it may not always be feasible because quality care may increase the cost of treatment. This necessitates the need for insurance.”

Every hospital or health care establishment must try to improve and maximize quality within the resources that are available to them and with the best use of those resources. Poor quality service indicates poor utilization of resources. Both quality and affordability need to be balanced, especially in a country like ours, which has one of the highest out of expenditures on health in the world.

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