28 January 2019 | Views
Dr KK Aggarwal, President of Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI)
The union budget last year focused on the Ayushman Bharat Programme – the new flagship National Health Protection Scheme. This was aimed at providing a health insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh a family per annum with an expected benefit to 10 crore vulnerable families -- with approximately 50 crore beneficiaries.
We hope that the budget this year will place more focus on Ayushman Bharat by creating benefits under the scheme addressing people who are not covered yet but eligible and also cover additional 10% given reservations form upper class.
The government should ensure 100% universal insurance coverage in the country. Another aspect that needs attention is the provision of enough subsidies for Ayushman only hospitals wanting to become a part of the scheme.
The government, we hope, will also address prevention and harm reduction to a large extent apart from the social determinants of health to achieve the desired results and sustain them. A common budget allocated for various health programmes will ensure more intersectoral cooperation and knowledge sharing. This will also avoid any overlap in programmes in these ministries to a large extent and result in saving of financial outflow.
All in all, we look forward to a budget that focuses on overall health and wellness thereby contributing to better productivity. Positive policies that will make healthcare more simple, affordable and accessible to common people are the need of the hour.