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Centre may ask states to incentivise private sector to set up infra, create trained manpower for National Health Protection Scheme’s implementation.
NEW DELHI: The Centre may ask states to incentivise private hospitals and healthcare chains for setting up infrastructure and creating a trained manpower for the successful implementation of the National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS).
The push is likely to be more on the 19 BJP-ruled states with Uttar Pradesh likely to be the first off the block as the government aims to achieve universal health coverage by scaling up the size and coverage of NHPS.
While NHPS will initially start on the model of Rashtriya Swastha Bima Yojana (RSBY), which has been in the system for 10 years, the government is seized of the shortcomings in the erstwhile scheme because of which it will be subsumed under NHPS.
It is expected that government will soon roll out a model framework for states to implement the NHPS, key suggestions of which would include adopting the insurance company-based model and subsuming their existing health insurance scheme under the umbrella scheme
Besides, tenders for skills training for mid-level healthcare professionals as well as setting up of primary and secondary healthcare centres in states under PPP mode could be on the challenge method to ensure speedy delivery as it aims to make it a ‘one nation, one scheme’ that would provide seamless services to its beneficiaries.
Addressing a press conference on the NHPS last week, NITI Aayog member (health) VK Paul had said the biggest challenge will be the limited health workforce available to deliver the promised primary services with the required outreach, effectiveness and impact.
“Resources are not a constraint. We have more than enough funds for the scheme. Challenge is to create a cadre of trained people to cater services at all levels of healthcare,” Paul had said.
The government feels that there is an urgent need to invest in quickly scaling up the numbers and skills of technology-enabled community health workers, mid-level health care providers and allied health professionals.
The 2018-19 Budget has allocated Rs 1,200 crore for transformation of 150,000 sub-centres into Health and Wellness Centres by 2022 to provide comprehensive primary care services ranging from health promotion and disease prevention to provision of basic clinical services along with free drugs and diagnostics.
The government has estimated the premium for NHPS at Rs 1,000-1,200 per family per year for a cover of up to Rs 5 lakh. This translates into Rs 10,000-12,000 crore for full roll out of the scheme to cover 10 crore families or 50 crore beneficiaries.
Niti Aayog estimates that in the first year only, 50% of the beneficiaries identified, using SECC data, would be covered. Hence, the first year requirement will be around Rs 5,000 crore, which will be split between the Centre and states in a 60:40 ratio while in hilly states it will be 90:10.
The government has allocated Rs 2,000 for RSBY in 2018-19 and part of this will be used to fund NHPS when it is rolled out by second half of the year.