National Health Policy & NHPS to drive ‘Health for All’: NATHEALTH

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National Health Policy & NHPS to drive ‘Health for All’: NATHEALTH
  • Proposed National Digital Health Authority to lead effective implementation of NHPS: NATHEALTH
  • NATHEALTH to help accelerate partnerships among various stakeholders

National Health Policy and National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS) are the main drivers for achieving the goal of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and with these strong catalysts, Indian healthcare sector geared up to provide access to affordable quality healthcare. Healthcare federation of India –NATHEALTH said.

The provision of Rs. 5 lakh per family per year for medical reimbursement could go a long way to achieve the goals of UHC. NATHEALTH, a multi-segment collaborative platform, has extended all its support to stakeholders for the successful implementation of the world’s largest government-funded health insurance programme.

“In 2017, the government announced the National Health Policy NHP-2017, with major focus on quality and affordable healthcare to all…The government’s focus on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is expected to offer several opportunities for diverse stakeholders of healthcare sector and contribute to health & wellbeing of the Nation as a whole.. Now, NHPS/M(National Health Protection Scheme or Mission) announced in the recent Union Budget, should help in  taking forward the goals set in the Health Policy… Healthcare Providers, Health Insurers, Diagnostics, MedTech and other stakeholders need to collaborate in order to contribute to the success of NHPS.. NATHEALTH is making all possible efforts to enable significant partnerships among various stakeholders,” said Mr Anjan Bose, Secretary General, NATHEALTH

“Stakeholder engagement is the key to effective implementation of these policies and schemes. The government has been engaging with various segments while creating a new institutional framework to take Indian healthcare ecosystem to the next level. As part of Ayushman Bharat Mission, NHPS would require strong partnerships among stakeholders and with this collaborative spirit, we should be in position to make our healthcare ecosystem robust and more inclusive,” he added.

Presently, a very small percentage of the population in the country has health insurance coverage. Out-of-pocket expenses are very high at around 60% and the new scheme is expected to help people to meet their healthcare needs. Economic Survey 2017-18 has also flagged the issue of high levels of Out-of-Pocket Expenses on health, which adversely affects the poorer sections and widens economic and social inequalities.

Appreciating the government’s plan of setting up of over 1,50,000 health and wellness centres throughout the country, NATHEALTH said that this move along-with expanding networks of hospitals are outstanding examples of an integrated approach towards enabling Universal Health Coverage for the people of the nation.

According to NATHEALTH, inadequate access to capital has been one of the biggest roadblocks for the growth of Indian healthcare sector. Today, the government spends only about 1.4% of its GDP on healthcare, which is one of the lowest spends globally. There is a need to focus more on raising investment in healthcare in the country.

The government needs to play the role of a powerful catalyst by creating an enabling ecosystem which draws investments from both domestic and international players to achieve the goal of Universal Health Coverage. Once investment goes up, the government would be in a better position to push reforms with promotional policies.

Awareness, Accessibility, Affordability, Accountability and Quality are priorities for the healthcare sector. Digital Health plays a critical role in driving the priority. For effective implementation, NHPS needs to be digitally empowered in terms of collection and sharing of data.

Mr. Daljit Singh, President, NATHEALTH, says, “The Health Policy envisages setting up a regulatory body-National Digital Health Authority- to govern and regulate digital health. Going forward, for an efficient and effective mass mediclaim scheme, the sector expects that the Authority would be established immediately to leverage the benefits of digital health. Digital health would be a very powerful catalyst in realising the goal of Health for All.”

NATHEALTH urged all stakeholders to work in a collaborative spirit to empower and reinvent the sector. Flexible and adaptive operating models need to be in place for optimising non-traditional resources and partnerships. Overall, the sector needs to move forward with an innovative mindset to focus on quality and affordability.

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