‘Modi Care’ or Ayushman Bharat Significant Step Towards Universal Health Coverage in India: American Think-TankMay 13, 2019 14:53
Ayushman Bharat, India’s ambitious health insurance scheme marks a significant step towards universal health coverage but the government should see to it that it is sustainable and delivers the high-quality care that Indians require, a top American think-tank said Friday.
The researchers at the Washington DC-based Center for Global Development (CGD) based on the analysis of the first year of Pradhan Mantri - Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY), said the overall effort has been positive but they also highlighted challenges and a number of potential pitfalls related to quality and cost that could derail the scheme’s progress.
“Modicare has put healthcare within reach for hundreds of millions, significantly increasing the number of people who have government-funded health insurance and far exceeding the initial estimates,” Amanda Glassman, chief operating officer at CGD and one of the authors of the study, told PTI.
“We found that more than 500 million people are now eligible for coverage by Modicare or state-funded expansions of the programme. That’s an impressive number, but there’s still a lot of work to do to bring down costs and bring up quality,” Glassman said ahead of the release of the report.
In addition, the researchers explain that embracing and improving access to primary care and linking it with the hospitalization plan, instead of only providing hospitalization, would go a long way toward promoting better health.
The focus in the first year of Modicare has been on expanding access to health insurance, but at some point, the government needs to take measures to tackle the costs of the programme, the researchers said.
By Sowmya Sangam