About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Severe Cut-Backs Expected in PM's Ambitious Health Care Plan for India

by Vanessa Jones on March 31, 2015 at 3:40 PM
Font : A-A+

Severe Cut-Backs Expected in PM's Ambitious Health Care Plan for India

A comprehensive universal healthcare plan was Prime Minister Narendra Modi's top priority, as mentioned in his election manifesto. But it looks like he may have to drastically cut back on his ambitious National Health Assurance Mission, which estimates a cost of $18.5 billion (Rs. 1.16 lakh crore) for five years.

In the initial draft by the health ministry in October 2014, the cost estimates totaled $25.5 billion for four years. The draft policy had made provisions for free drugs, diagnostic services and insurance for serious ailments for India's 1.2 billion people. In January 2015, when it was presented to Modi, it was reduced to $18.5 billion — still deemed to be too much. Predictably, the project was not approved. Sources inside the government health ministry told Reuters (a news agency) that it had been asked to revamp the policy, but work is yet to start.

Advertisement

The Modi government's first full-year Budget, announced in February 2015 by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, had increased infrastructure spending, leaving less federal funding immediately available for social sectors. "The constraint on India's financial resources was conveyed to health officials, and even to those from other ministries," said one government official who is not from the health ministry but attended the meeting where Modi was present.

Modi's election manifesto had said that previous public health schemes had been mired in payment delays and could not meet the growing medical needs of the public. Still, he has another four years left in his first term to fulfill the promise.
Advertisement

India spends just about 1% of its gross domestic product (GDP) on public health, but even those funds are not fully utilized in the badly-managed public health system. A health ministry vision document in December 2014 had proposed raising spending to 2.5% of GDP in public health but did not specify a time period. That's why health experts were disappointed when the Union Budget for 2015-16 raised the allocation only by about 2 percent from the previous year, less than inflation.

This lowered prospects for the massive health plan, they said. "How can it happen when you have truncated resources?" a health ministry official asked.

An expert panel along with an expert from the World Bank, in consultation with Modi's office, had drafted the health plan. It included insurance that covered serious ailments and treatment such as heart surgeries and organ failure, although two officials felt that this benefit would soon be withdrawn. The new ministry couldn't answer why this new plan could not be combined with existing health schemes.

The decision to slash insurance would have an impact on the country's thriving health sector which was slated to see huge growth with the new program and millions of patients were channeled into private hospitals. At present, only 17% of the country's population had any form of insurance.

Source: Aditya Kalra

Source: Medindia
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Black Pepper as Preventive Measure Against Omicron
FODMAP Diet: A Beginner's Guide
Smallpox
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Health Insurance Plan New India Assurance Policies Health Insurance - India 

Recommended Reading
Indians in Cities Find Health Insurance More Important Than Life Insurance
People generally think of life insurance as a tax rebate, though today they are aware of the ......
Your Health Insurance Premiums Can Also Become Your Savings
Insurance companies that offer health cover are also offering different savings plans that uses a .....
IRDA Fines Apollo Munich Health Insurance for Rs.20 Lakh
The IRDA takes responsibility for fair dealings from general insurers and when whenever found ......
Will Congress Renew Federal Health Insurance for Children?
More than three million kids would lose coverage if Congress does not approve a two-year renewal of ...
Health Insurance - India
Health insurance has emerged as one of the fastest growing segments in the non-life insurance indust...
Health Insurance Plan
With a health insurance policy you and your family can rest assured!...
New India Assurance Policies
The existing Mediclaim and Health Plus Medical expenses policies have been discontinued and Mediclai...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2022

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use