“The importance of Ayushman Bharat scheme cannot be denied but there are many challenges ahead in its successful implementation”. Discuss. (10 marks)
- Introduce the Ayushman Bharat scheme along with its components
- Discuss why this scheme is important
- Discuss some challenges associated with it
- Conclude appropriately
Ayushman Bharat is a program which aims to provide a service to create a healthy, capable and content new India. It has two components:
- Health and Wellness Centres: For creating a network of 1.5 lakh health and wellness centres across the nation to deliver comprehensive primary healthcare services
- Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Abhiyaan: It will provide insurance cover to at least 40 per cent of India’s population which is majorly deprived of secondary and tertiary care services. It will give Rs. 5 lakh of health cover to 50 crore people for free.
- A 2015 survey by the NSSO showed over 80 per cent of the households not covered by any health scheme, most of the healthcare cost was met out-of-pocket.
- Hospitalisation expenses for critical ailments had shot up by 300 per cent over a decade.
- An estimated 6 million families sink into poverty each year due to hospitalisation.
Ayushman Bharat, by targeting the 40 per cent of India’s households at the lower rungs of the socio-economic ladder, tries to pre-empt this battering to family finances from sudden healthcare costs, by ensuring cashless treatment.
- Health is a state subject and states are expected to contribute 40% of the expenditure for Ayushman Bharat. Also, there is administrative and financial capacity constraint for the states to run insurance schemes.
- Another challenge will be faced in merging or aligning the scheme with the existing state health insurance schemes.
- Identifying the beneficiaries according to the SECC data is another difficult task in many states because of their large size and population.
- Getting the private hospitals on board, particularly with the issues around low rates being offered for several standard procedures would be another challenge.
- Integration of technology at each level of the healthcare continuum such as telemedicine, health call-centres, teleradiology etc. would be a major challenge.
Thus, by overcoming these challenges and providing immunity to people against financial losses from sudden medical emergencies, Ayushman Bharat scheme can play a big role in uplifting both the economic status and quality of life for the poor.
Subjects : Social Justice