July 17, 2018, 0 Comment(s)

Recently Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi announced affordable healthcare for every Indian. He said his government is committed to decreasing the financial burden and ensuring affordable healthcare for every Indian. The scheme, which the Prime Minister is expected to launch on Independence Day, covers about 10.74 crore below-poverty-line families for Rs 5 lakh each a year. It will insure 1,354 medical and surgical packages for conditions including cancer, cardiology, genetic and mental disorders. Another 500 million people may be added as there’s a plan to even include above-poverty-line families covered by similar plans in different states.

Though this scheme is a good move, it has its own impact on the nation’s healthcare sector through increase in the demand for care, increased patient revenues and lower uncompensated care costs for the uninsured.

The Indian Medical Association, the biggest body of doctors in India, finds pricing of procedures under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s national insurance scheme inadequate. That’s triggered a debate if ‘Aayushman Bharat’ will achieve its intended objective. But the Indian Medical Association criticised the announcement as “improperly planned” and “ill conceived,” citing a lack of consultation with doctors and patients over the plans. IMA also noted that, in setting up the scheme, all stakeholders were not actively consulted. Mr. Ravi Wankhedkar, director of the IMA said that the actual budget spent will not match the allocations for the scheme, adding that “Modicare will go the way of Obamacare.” The rates are far too low to provide quality treatment to patients. The cost structure is ‘humanly impossible’ for doctors to offer treatment that are otherwise expensive. It is a changing world for hospitals. It is harder to thrive in the way in which it was done in the past. How are we, as doctors and care givers going to adapt to this scheme remains a huge dilemma. The low cost is bound to have an effect on the quality and also the running of the hospital business. There has to be a way where the system is more viable for everyone to work enthusiastically. Let’s just hope the government looks at this scheme from both view points and bring out a win-win structure.