Health Sector – UHC, National Health Policy, Family Planning, Health Insurance, etc.

[op-ed snap] Can Ayushman Bharat make for a healthier India?op-ed snap


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Particulars of the Ayushman Bharat Scheme

Mains level: The important dimensions discussed in the newscard.


The Ayushman Bharat Scheme: Two important dimensions
FIRST DIMENSION: It aims to roll out comprehensive primary health care with Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs) serving the people

  1. A nationwide network of 1.5 lakh HWCs will be created by transforming the existing sub-centres and primary health-care centres by 2022
  2. This will constitute the very foundation of New India’s health care system

Issues with the older health policies

  1. So far, the country’s primary health care has been focussing on reproductive, maternal health, newborn and child health as well as controlling priority communicable diseases
  2. All this perhaps covers only 15% of our needs

Need of primary health care in India

  1. There is a huge unmet need for primary health care, namely, care for non-communicable diseases (hypertension, diabetes, chronic obstructive lung disease, and common cancers), mental health, care of the aged, adolescent health, palliative health care, basic eye care and dental health
  2. If we build a strong, robust next generation primary health-care system, it will save lives and will lead to a healthier India

Commitment of the government under the National Health Policy 2017

  1. The government has committed for two-thirds of resources to go into a comprehensive primary health care as part of the policy

SECOND DIMENSION: The scheme aims to provide health cover of Rs. 5 lakh per family per year for hospitalisation in secondary and tertiary care facilities

  1. The programme will cover half a billion people and would align with what the State governments are doing already, with significant resources coming from the Centre
  2. Many State governments would extend the benefits to additional beneficiaries through their own resources so that ultimately the population covered for catastrophic expenses could be two-thirds of India’s population, if not more
  3. This mission enables increased access to in-patient health care for the poor and lower middle class
  4. Treatment will be provided by empanelled public and private hospitals
  5. Private hospitals will have to agree to terms such as package rates, adherence to standards and guidelines, ethical practice, respectful care and client satisfaction, and transparency

The scheme will help in Employment generation in the Health Sector

  1. Ayushman Bharat will spur increased investment in health and generate lakhs of jobs, especially for women, and will be a driver of development and growth
  2. It is a turning point for the health sector


Ayushman Bharat-National Health Protection Mission

  1. Ayushman Bharat is National Health Protection Scheme, which will cover over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families (approximately 50 crore beneficiaries) providing coverage upto 5 lakh rupees per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization
  2. Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission will subsume the on-going centrally sponsored schemes – Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) and the Senior Citizen Health Insurance Scheme (SCHIS)
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