India has seen some major policy reforms in the year 2016. The central government has allocated budget worth billions to bring radical change and upgrade the healthcare sector as we believe that a developed economy can be build on the foundation of a healthy nation.
The Big Health Budget
Realising the requirement of funds for upgrading the infrastructure to meet the increasing healthcare demands of the country, the Niti Aayog has allocated Rs. 37,490 crores under the 12th Five Year Plan to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The current budget is about three times the actual expenditure under the 11th Five Year Plan. The share of healthcare in total plan allocation is set to increase by 2-5% of the GDP in the 12th plan from 0.9% in the 11th plan. The major portion of the allocated budget was sent to the Rural Health Mission which support the health developments of less privileged states.
CSR Contributions on Health
A report released by KPMG on the CSR spending of firms states that from the total outlay of Rs. 6,490 crores, Indian companies have spent a total of Rs. 5,115 crores in 2015 and the heath sector tops the spending accounting for 20% of the total CSR spend. The spending on health sectors comprises the availability of safe drinking water, combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.
Back to Roots
India is known to be the land of Ayurveda and has been developing branded as well as generic quality medicines since ages. It has evolved from a industry of Rs. 1500 crores in 1980 to a whopping Rs. 1,19,000 crores in 2012 and it continues to grow by leaps and bounds. Even though the medicines are priced competitively, still a major chuck of the poor people have either no or low access to the medicines. Hence, to ensure that the quality medicine reaches to everyone at affordable prices, the government has initiated the opening of 3,000 Jan Aushadhi Stores (JAS) under Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Yojana (PMJAY) across the country by the end of March 2017. The government has allocated the budget of Rs. 39,532.55 crore budget for this initiative.
Tech Savvy India
The E-health initiative, which is a part of Digital India drive launched by the Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi, aims at providing effective and economical healthcare services to all citizens. In order to ensure greater transparency in information sharing and access to healthcare facilities and experts by every citizen of the country, the Ministry of Health has decided to expedite the digitalization of the healthcare sector. The programme aims to make use of technology and portals to facilitate people to maintain health records and book online appointments with various departments of different hospitals using eKYC data of Aadhaar number.
The technology plays an important role to cure the chronic diseases like cardiac arrest, cancer, and TB etc. It helps in saving countless lives, who may have otherwise succumbed to death due to lack of these services. As per the Ministry of Health, development of 50 technologies has been targeted in the FY16, for the treatment of diseases like Cancer and TB. Medical technology is an area where technology plays an important role in creating sustainable health.
National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS)
The government has alloted Rs. 1,500 crore under the National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS) an increase of 152% from the previous year, reflecting its continued commitment towards providing health insurance to the middle class and marginalised sections of the society. A cover of Rs. 1 lakh per family was introduced under the NHPS with an additional coverage of Rs. 30,000 for the senior citizens.“It looks like insurance is the direction that universal health coverage and NHM are taking. There is clear emphasis on insurance,” said K. Srinath Reddy, President of the non-profit Public Health Foundation of India.
Media & Communications, Fiinovation