Budget 2020: Probable steps to improve healthcare

Budget 2020: Probable steps to improve healthcare

Arindam Haldar

By Arindam Haldar,

“Currently in India, our healthcare policies do not see the entire healthcare value chain, which includes - prevention of diseases, treatment and health insurance, as a whole. There’s a need to connect all the dots together if India wants to achieve its goal of universal health coverage. A successful PPP model for diagnosis and treatment and health insurance coverage can become a major instrument in achieving this target on the agenda of India. The government needs to understand that diagnosis not only has important implications for patient care, but public policy decisions are often influenced by diagnostic information, such as setting payment policies, resource allocation decisions, and research priorities. For instance, to achieve POSHAN Abhiyaan targets, the government can embark on a health screening project, in partnership with private players, for young children to study their risk towards non-communicable diseases, anemia status, and level of micronutrients. This would assist the Government to understand the prevalence of health risks among the children across the state and formulate granular level nutrition and health programmes for the children.

We commend the intent expressed by the government regarding the goals and increased fund allocation for Ayushman Bharat - PMJAY. But what’s missing even today is a health care scheme that provides cover for out-patient department (OPD) and diagnostics expenses. Indian healthcare spends entail huge ‘out of pocket’ expenditure, thus there is a need for inclusion of diagnostics spends under the ambit of insurance, which would further help Indian consumers to reduce the financial burden.”

(Arindam Haldar is the CEO of SRL Diagnostics)