The national health protection scheme offers a big opportunity to private hospitals to cater 40 percent population of the country, Ayushman Bharat Chief Executive Officer Indu Bhushan said.
The Ayushman Bharat, touted as ‘Modicare’, would attract participation of big private hospitals to leverage the benefits of the programme, he said.
It would also drive private players to open hospitals in rural areas which was not happening earlier, Bhushan said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his Independence Day address, has said his government will launch on September 25 the ambitious scheme which promises a coverage of Rs five lakh per family annually. The national health protection scheme would benefit more than 10 crore poor people.
“We are in talks with a few private hospitals to be part of the scheme. A very few have already shown interest… I think, the private hospitals will not want to miss the business opportunity of rendering services to 40 per cent of the country’s population,” Bhushan told.
Replying to a question about participation of private hospitals, including corporate hospitals, he said such hospitals hitherto did not venture into rural areas since people there could not afford the high cost of treatment.
But, the Ayushman Bharat scheme would ‘hypothetically’ encourage setting up of private hospitals because the government would make the payments, instead of poor people, he said.
On tackling the problem of inadequate infrastructure, including government hospital beds, in implementing the scheme, Bhushan said only two lakh beds would be needed, assuming very large usage.
“With 2 per cent hospitalisation, about one crore people will need assistance. One bed can cover about 50 people a year. Therefore, the overall number is not a problem,” he said.