About seven months after Narendra Modi government launched its mega healthcare scheme Ayushmann Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY), the reduction in the overall cost of treatment for Rs 18.45 lakh patients was over 50 per cent, Indu Bhushan, CEO, AB-PMJAY has said.
Speaking at the annual session of apex industry body Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) in Delhi on Friday, Bhushan said the treatment cost, without the reduction facilitated by the collective bargaining power of the scheme would have been Rs 5500 crore, instead of the total spend of Rs 2500 crore. "Two third of this amount has gone to private sector, which will see a significant expansion in the future," he said.
According to Bhushan, successful rollout of Ayushman Bharat with its AB-PMJAY and primary healthcare components will result in a continuum of healthcare with technology-driven linkage between primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare, between private and public healthcare and patients' health records. He also said that the assurance to provide treatment to the poor will reduce treatment related impoverishment. "Currently around 6 crore people fall into poverty (due to out of pocket healthcare expenditure). This model makes sure impoverishment does not happen," he said.
As of April 4, 2.91 crore beneficiary cards were generated for the scheme that is expected to cover 5 crore under-privileged people.
Speaking on the occasion, Preeti Sudan, Union Health secretary said the central government has come out with a policy to encourage foreign direct investment in healthcare sector in the tier 2 and tier 3 cities and towns of the country. "We have a mechanism of viable gap funding too. State governments have to notify it now," Sudan said.
On health research, Sudan said the government has attempted a paradigm shift in de-regularising clinical trials through a recent notification. "We have come out with new clinical trial rules which has provisions for deemed approvals, and clear compensation norms. We hope it will result in more research coming to India," she added. The secretary also sought suggestions from the stakeholders on the new rules as the processes of several exemptions prescribed under the new rules are yet to be finalised.