The Government think tank NITI Aayog has proposed to build a healthcare system for the middle class which is still not covered under any public healthcare system.
On the occasion of the launch of ‘Health System for a New India: Building Blocks – Potential Pathways to Reform’ report, NITI Aayog said the healthcare system would exclude those covered under the newly-launched Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) scheme that mainly caters to the bottom 40 per cent population of the country.
The report was released by NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar in the presence of Bill Gates, the co-chairman of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on Monday.
India has low level and very fragmented risk pooling, with household out-of-pocket funding at 64 percent of total expenses dominating the overall system financing, Aayog said.
NITI Aayog Adviser (Health) Alok Kumar said the report intends to prepare the road-map to build a health system in the medium- to long-term for those belonging to middle class as the poor have been taken care of now through Ayushman Bharat while those at the top have the capacity to bear their medical exigencies.
“So nearly 50 per cent are still not covered under any public healthcare system and the idea is to pool their risk assets which will cater to the health care needs of the middle class,” Kumar said.
Kumar opined that people falling under the middle class will not bother if they have to pay nominal Rs 200 or Rs 300 towards building a good public healthcare system in the country and the plan looks feasible.
“Our vision for a healthy India and quality health for all requires us to holistically transform the delivery of healthcare services in both the public and private sectors across all levels of care,” said Rajiv Kamar, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog.