In an endeavour to scale up healthcare infrastructure in rural areas, the Government has launched a unique scheme– Ayushman Sahakar to assist cooperatives which run around 52 hospitals across the country having cumulative bed strength of more than 5,000.
Union Minister of State for Agriculture Parshottam Rupala recently launched the scheme, under which the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) would extend term loans of Rs 10,000 crore to cooperatives for creating healthcare infrastructure in rural India, a PTI report said.
NCDC is the apex autonomous development finance institution under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare. The NCDC fund would give a boost to provision of healthcare services by cooperatives, NCDC Managing Director Sundeep Nayak said. After the virtual launch, the minister said, “The ongoing pandemic has brought into focus the requirement of creation of more facilities. The NCDC”s scheme will be a step towards strengthening farmers welfare activities by the central government.”
The NCDC would extend term loans of Rs 10,000 crore to prospective in the coming years under the scheme, which would revolutionize the way healthcare delivery takes place in rural areas, an official statement quoted the Minister. Rupala also gave a call to existing cooperatives to take up healthcare services as an activity for farmers. In the statement, the government said the NCDC”s Ayushman Sahakar which is in line with National Digital Health Mission would bring transformation in rural areas. “By virtue of their strong presence in rural areas, cooperatives utilizing the scheme would bring revolution in comprehensive health care services,” it said.
That apart, the NCDC”s scheme aligns itself with the focus of the National Health Policy, 2017, covering the health systems in all their dimensions – investments in health, organization of healthcare services, access to technologies, affordable health care to farmers, among others.
It has a comprehensive approach-hospitals, healthcare, medical education, nursing education, paramedical education, health insurance and holistic health systems such as AYUSH, it said. The Ayushman Sahakar specifically covers establishment, modernization, expansion, repairs, renovation of hospitals and healthcare and education infrastructure. It would also assist cooperative hospitals take up medical and Ayush education.