The Economic Survey 2020-21 has recommended the creation of a sectoral regulator to undertake "regulation and supervision" of the healthcare sector.
The survey, presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday, January 29, favoured such a body, noting that it is "pertinent as regulation has grown in importance as a key lever for governments to affect the quantity, quality, safety and distribution of services in health systems."
The survey also suggested the setting up of credit rating agencies to assess the quality of health care providers.
It said that since the bulk of healthcare in India (74 percent of outpatient care and 65 percent of hospitalisation) is provided through the private sector in urban India, it is critical for policymakers to mitigate information asymmetry in healthcare which creates market failures.
Thus, it recommended "creating agencies to assess the quality of the healthcare providers - both doctors, and hospitals."
"The Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) introduced by the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom 2004 as well as other quality assessment practices introduced by NHS provide a good example," the survey noted.
"Credit bureaus assess the quality of individual borrowers by assigning them credit scores, thereby mitigating the information asymmetry faced by a bank or financial institution in lending to the individual borrower. In the healthcare context, insurers as well as healthcare providers Healthcare takes centre stage, finally! 165 suffer from similar information asymmetry about the patient," it added.
The Economic Survey is a flagship annual document that reviews the development of the country's economy over the past year and provides an in-depth preview of the budget.