“The importance of Ayushman Bharat scheme cannot be denied but there are many challenges ahead in its successful implementation”. Discuss. (10 marks)

“The importance of Ayushman Bharat scheme cannot be denied but there are many challenges ahead in its successful implementation”. Discuss. (10 marks)

Approach:

  • Introduce the Ayushman Bharat scheme along with its components
  • Discuss why this scheme is important
  • Discuss some challenges associated with it
  • Conclude appropriately
Model Answer :

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.

Importance:

  • 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.

Challenges:

  • 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

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