Panaji Despite 70 years of investment in the country’s healthcare sector, nearly 70 per cent of India’s population has to look to the private sector, Indu Bhushan, chief executive officer of the Ayushman Bharat, said on Saturday.
Participating in a debate on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship healthcare programme, he said the Ayushman initiative would not only provide affordable healthcare, but also generate employment and create healthcare infrastructure in India’s tier-2, tier-3 cities.
The debate was organised in Panaji by the Goa Institute of Management (GIM) featuring representatives of the government, industry and academia.
“India has invested in the healthcare sector for the last 70 years, yet the needs of 70 per cent of the population is met by the private sector. Similarly, while there have been significant efforts to reduce poverty, close to six crore people are driven into poverty each year due to healthcare expenses,” he said.
Stressing that while India is one of the fastest growing economies, yet government spending on healthcare is low, he said Ayushman Bharat will address such a paradox.
“The ambitious programme aims to offer access to affordable healthcare for those who need it the most. The programme will also generate employment and create healthcare infrastructure, including hospitals in tier-2 and tier-3 cities, he said.
The Ayushman Bharat scheme operates under the aegis of the Prime Minister Jan Arogya Yojana.
The debate discussed aspects of the Ayushman Bharat scheme, which included sufficiency of healthcare infrastructure, pricing pressure effect on healthcare services, financial impact on hospitals and doctors, quality, safety and how to prevent malpractices.