National Health Protection Scheme Current Affairs - 2019

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Govt signs MoU with NATHEALTH to streamline delivery of services under PMJAY

National Health Authority (NHA) implementing agency of Ayushman Bharat, Centre’s flagship healthcare scheme has signed Memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Healthcare Federation of India (NATHEALTH) to streamline delivery of services under Ayushman Bharat.

Key Highlights of MoU

Objective: Partnership between National Health Authority (NHA) and Healthcare Federation of India (NATHEALTH) aims-

  • To enable an ecosystem for industry partners within NATHEALTH network to participate in testing, piloting, adopting, funding and scaling innovations.
  • To streamline all innovations so as to ensure that it increases efficacy of service delivery of Ayushman Bharat.
  • To provide and enable a healthcare innovation ecosystem that supports healthcare innovators as well as provides them opportunities to partner and scale.

Need: In the time when plethora of healthcare innovations are happening across country, it is crucial to empower them by providing right support.

Significance:

  • This collaboration will provide an industry interface for testing innovations, providing mentorship as well as creating channels for facilitating support required for scaling these innovations.
  • This joint initiative will also bolster NHA’s effectiveness in implementing its innovation strategy, which is aligned with its vision of Health for All.
  • Partnership will help in linking PMJAY, industry and innovators thus enabling increased adoption of numerous inventions, leading to an increase in access to quality care delivered under PM-JAY.

About Ayushman Bharat

It is centrally sponsored scheme also known by Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) or National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS).

Launched: It was launched in September 2018 with aim to make interventions in primary, secondary and tertiary care systems in country so as to address healthcare holistically. It covers both preventive and promotive health.

Ayushman Bharat-National Health Protection Scheme (AB-NHPS), an insurance scheme seeks to provide a health cover of up to Rs.5 lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation to over 10.74 crore vulnerable families. It provides a cashless and paperless access to services for beneficiary at point of service.

Significance: Since its launch under PMJAY more than 15,000 hospitals and health care providers have been empanelled across the country and around 26 Lakh people have availed treatment so far in several hospitals across country.

Centre to raise Health Services Expenditure to 2.5% of GDP by 2025

Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan while addressing a query during Question Hour in Rajya Sabha announced that Government has set a target to raise health services expenditure to 2.5% of country’s GDP (Gross domestic product) by 2025. He also highlighted that public expenditure on health services has increased continuously over the years and continues to increase.

Key Highlights

The government’s objective is in line with National Health Policy 2017 which envisages increasing public health expenditure to 2.5% of GDP by 2025.

The policy also recommends that State governments should spend more than 8% of their budget on health sector by 2020.

Steps taken by Government:

Under Aayushman Bharat programme ( or Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana or National Health Protection Scheme), Government envisions setting up 1.5 lakh health and wellness centres by 2022 and out of this 18,000-19,000 have already been established. These centres will boost healthcare facilities in country’s Urban as well as rural areas.

The 3% Education Cess on personal income tax and corporation tax to is already replaced with 4% Health and Education Cess so as to cater to education and health needs of poor and rural families.

Higher Education Funding Agency (HEFA) has also started supporting infrastructure works of medical institutions.