How Ayushman Bharat can change the healthcare system
New Delhi, Sep 30: The government recenly launched the Ayushman Bharat-National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM) on 25 September, the birth anniversary of Bharatiya Jana Sangh leader Deendayal Upadhyaya.
The ambitious scheme, also known as Modicare, aims to offer an annual health cover of ₹5 lakh per family, targeting more than 100 million families belonging to the poor and vulnerable sections of the population, based on Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) database. The ministry of health and family welfare will be implementing the scheme.
But now the question arises here is, how will it change the healthcare system?
Ayushman Bharat is an attempt to ensure that universal healthcare reaches the weaker section of the society and it may certainly boost the ratio of people availing primary healthcare and some of the secondary healthcare. But the current framework of the scheme will not be beneficial for people who need tertiary care as the remunerations under the scheme will not be sufficient to avail value based healthcare.
Under the scheme, tertiary healthcare service providers will be forced to cut costs at every level which will lead to offering a sub-standard healthcare to patients under the scheme. They may not be able to avail the necessary medication, technology and clinical expertise to get the best outcome and will soon lose confidence in the system.
With effective implementation, the scheme may have a positive impact on reducing out-of-pocket expenditure. The government argues that the poorest and the vulnerable will have health insurance.
The scheme will initially cover nearly 40% of the population. Barring a few procedures, the scheme covers almost all secondary and many tertiary hospitalizations, which in normal circumstances, bankrupt poor people. This can have a cumulative positive effect on increased access to quality health and medication.
In addition, the unmet needs of the population, which remained hidden due to lack of financial resources, will be catered to. This may lead to timely treatments, improvements in health outcomes, patient satisfaction, improvement in productivity and efficiency, and job creation, leading to improvement in overall quality of life.