The Modi government launched last year the world’s largest health insurance scheme, the Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana – better known as ‘Ayushman Bharat’ or ‘Modicare’. It offers a Rs 5 lakh annual cover per family for secondary and tertiary healthcare at public and empanelled private hospitals.
While the government claims the scheme has also helped 700,000 people, the opposition has criticised the scheme and called it “a handout to the richest businessmen”. They have also proposed an alternative to Modicare – the ‘Right to Healthcare Act’ while promising an increase in public spending.
However, with elections looming and amidst party politics, experts have raised concerns over effective implementation of healthcare schemes. According to public health issues consultant Ajoy Bose, “the state of healthcare in the country has been woefully poor” and requires a “practical and pragmatic approach”. Thus, a question rises over tall political claims being made ahead of a general election and whether they will result in active and effective policy-making.
Health Issues India is organising a roundtable conference at the end of April, where experts will be brought together in a discussion about the role healthcare plays – or, rather, should play – in political discourse and how changes can be effected to make Health for All a reality.
Environmental issues, a rising burden of noncommunicable diseases, issues with water supply and sanitation and the continued burden of infectious diseases are among the issues plaguing India’s healthcare system, while hampered. The #HealthForPolls campaign seeks to examine solutions, find ways forward and create a healthier India, where everyone can access the healthcare they need. Our video above explains the key tenets of our campaign and takes expert and political opinion while considering the true reality of India’s healthcare woes and what is being done – and what needs to be done – to address them.