The Union Cabinet’s approval to the launch of the new National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS) – the world's largest government-funded healthcare programme - is an endorsement of the commitment of the government towards public health and improving health outcomes of the nation, according to a statement by FICCI.
NHPS seeks to provide Rs 5 lakh medical coverage per family per year to 10 crore poor and vulnerable families. The government also plans to strengthen preventive and primary healthcare delivery in the country with 1.5 lakh health and wellness centres.
“The government’s endeavour to roll out the transformational NHPS is an assurance to improve health of the nation’s 40 percent population vulnerable to catastrophic health expenditures. FICCI welcomes and supports NHPS and appreciates the government’s recognition to engage with the private sector”, said Pankaj R. Patel, immediate past president of FICCI.
Speaking about the far-reaching effects of the social programme, Dr. Arvind Lal, chair of the FICCI Health Services Committee and CMD of Dr. Lal PathLabs, said, “the new National Health Protection Scheme has the potential to lift people out of poverty by reducing their out-of-pocket (OOP) expenditures. However, there is a need for an effective implementation framework that includes appropriate participation from all stakeholders”.
“It is expected that the new healthcare programme will boost the healthcare infrastructure development and strengthen the healthcare workforce. Main focus of the scheme should be on enhancing the quality of care through operational efficiencies and appropriate use of technology throughout the continuum of care”, said Dr. Alok Roy, co-chair of the FICCI Health Services Committee and chairman of Medica Group of Hospitals.
Girish Rao, chair of FICCI’s Health Insurance Committee and CMD of Vidal Healthcare added that “NHPS is a great piece of news from a citizen’s point of view. The scheme can leverage from the significant experience of the health insurers in technological innovation, pricing insights, claims data, and on-ground intelligence on fraud control. As an industry body, we look forward to partnering with the government in this game-changing act”.
Dr. Narottam Puri, advisor to the FICCI Health Services and Health Insurance Committee and board member and former chairman of National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers (NABH), said that “with NHPS, healthcare has come centre stage in terms of its social, economic and political influence; and therefore, there is optimism for a win-win result amongst all stakeholders”.