It is very early to say how much the benefits of the world's largest health insurance scheme is available to the poor, but the benefits of the previous health plans have reached to the poorest of the people in the pulse. Yes, private hospitals and insurance companies have made a lot of money.
In the budget session of 2018, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced the Ayushman Bharat scheme. The objective of this scheme is to provide health insurance to economically weaker people (BPL holders). It will provide cashless health insurance up to 5 lakhs to each family coming under it.
Two health plans already being implemented in this scheme- National Health Insurance Scheme and Senior Citizen Health Insurance Scheme- will be merged in Ayushman Bharat. According to the plan,40 per cent of the population of the country will be covered under insurance coverage.
In spite of millions of claims, the truth is that the National Health Insurance Scheme is not successful in providing financial protection to the poor. If will see analysis, only private hospitals and insurance companies can get benefit directly and indirectly.
Under the National Health Insurance Scheme implemented in 2008, only about three and a half million out of six million households were covered. Nearly 30 per cent of the claims were made out of the sale. The company's earnings were better as the premiumamount.
Why is the poor man afraid of going to a private hospital? Because the poor cannot afford the hospital's expensive treatment expenses. The poor has serious and incurable disease and it is better to be forced to go to an expensive or well-equipped hospital for treatment, that the miserable condition of government hospitals can be improved by the government.
The names of select government institutions like Delhi's AIIMS are famous due to their quality and better functioning.
Primary health services should be made so much better and widespread that poor people have treated themselves in government dispensaries and centres only. To provide insurance based healthcare, there should be provision for both indoor and outdoor facilities, as well as filling the premium, to free the poor public.
Unless the government hospitals provide better facilities, the “Ayushman Bharat” Scheme will not provide relief to the poor public. This is possible only when some important and practical points will be taken into consideration in the “Ayushman Bharat” Scheme. Thescale of treatment given under the scheme should be fixed. The quality should be closely watched. The hospitals which are listed under the scheme should monitor the quality of the hospitals and the distribution of the drug.
If expensive branded medicines and equipment are being used, then it will also be noted that this is not unnecessary. Strict action should be taken against hospitals refusing to recruit patients. The health facility available under the Ayushman Bharat Scheme is affordable and practical so that it is easy to cure the general public.
There are hospitals and insurance companies in the plans, which have been contracted for the treatment of the poor. According to the rules and provisions, accountability has been set to provide better treatment to them at all times. But what happens in the realm Poor patients are trapped in the vicious cycle of expensive treatment and expensive medicines, The benefit is ultimately to private hospitals and insurance companies.
Suppose a poor person has to have a kidney transplant, will he be transplanted only in five lakhs?If the transplant is done, then the expenditure after transplantation? Rather than insure, the government attempts to provide medical facilities in the government hospital, then arguably the benefit will go to the general public. I think, The insurance scheme is the temptation only In which the poor will remain trapped.
The “Ayushman Bharat” scheme is arguably for the benefit of the poor, but it would be wrong to believe that medical professionals and insurance companies will not take advantage of this scheme for earning in the era of market economy.
Yes, people benefitting from this scheme and every pillar of the institution providing the facility will play its own responsibility honestly, then"Ayushman Bharat" will definitely prove to be “Ayushman Bhav”.
Reported By Mr. Abdul Rashid
(Writer, journalist and columnist)