By Devanshee Dave
The most awaited event for the Indian people has just ended with some reliefs and some shocks, but if we focus on the health sector, the situation looks promising, with the launch of the National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS), which will be advantageous to many poor persons. India spends only around 1 percent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on the health sector, so this scheme has great potential to improve the numbers.
What is ‘NaMoCare’?
The ‘NaMoCare’ or the ‘ModiCare’ plan has been announced by the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his budget speech. Mr Jaitley announced the National Health Protection Scheme under the umbrella Ayushman Bharat Scheme that will give a cover of Rs. 5 lakhs to 10 crores to poor and vulnerable families annually, which will eventually help 50 crore people of India. Upon comparing this number of people to the total population of India, it amounts to approximately 40 percent.
The government has introduced the scheme as a part of the Ayushman Bharat scheme along with a preventive healthcare component worth Rs. 1,200 crore. These schemes are said to build a ‘New India 2022’ and ensure enhanced productivity, well-being and wage loss and impoverishment. At present, the Government has allocated Rs. 2,000 crore for the NHPS. The scheme assures the mammoth sum of Rs. 50 lakh crore that comes at one-third of India’s stock market value.
Further, the eligibility of NHPS would be based on ‘deprivations’ data of the socio-economic caste census (SECC) and the implementation of the scheme at state level would be decided based on whether the state would adopt an insurance-based model like Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) or a trust-based model in which the premiums go to trust and the trust takes care of the settlement.
The deductions of premiums under health insurance have also been in increased for senior citizens with critical illness. At present, the Rashtriya Swasthya Yojana is giving coverage of Rs. 30,000 annually to poor families but the new scheme is likely to change the scenario of Indian healthcare, as it covers a large number of people.
A success story?
This scheme is also counted as the third big insurance program by the Modi government. Counting the total demand of the schemes, it comes at Rs. 50 lakh crore which becomes very crucial for the Government as the fiscal target of 2017-18 has been increased to 3.5 percent already, and the target of the upcoming fiscal year is anticipated to be at 3.3 percent. The government has increased the cess on income tax, customs on many goods, and has introduced a 10 percent tax on long-term capital gain, thus there still exists a potential to manage the provisions for different schemes and reach the fiscal target.
So, the government has a dual role in the coming year, to maintain fiscal and to fulfill the promises made by it to the 50 crore people. Also, the general election of 2019 is on its way, so it would be very important to see how NDA regime achieves the goal!
Featured Image Source: Pexels
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