Chandigarh,15.10.19-Confederation of Indian Industry organised an Interactive Session with NITI Aayog and National Health Authority on Implementation of National Healthcare Protection Scheme (NHPS) and Ayushman Bharat at CII Northern Region Headquarters, here today. Dr Vinod Paul, Member, NITI Aayog and Dr Praveen Gedam, Deputy CEO, National Health Authority interacted with the healthcare fraternity at CII. The session aimed to deliberate on issues being faced by the healthcare providers while implementing the scheme during the first year of its launch.

While sharing the enactment of Ayushman Bharat, Dr Vinod Paul, Member, NITI Aayog highlighted that the scheme has achieved a milestone of adding 50 lakh beneficiaries in the past one year from its Launch. Mentioning that the scheme has overachieved its target, he shared that while Punjab had a target to cover 14 per cent of the families, it has added 29 per cent more than its target. Similarly, Uttarakhand, Karnataka and Maharashtra have also done well as far as the implementation of this scheme is concerned. With this performance, India has contributed in a big way towards WHO’s mission of bringing a billion people under universal coverage, Dr Paul stated.

In his address at the session, Dr Paul pointed out that the healthcare industry is suffering from severe shortage of infrastructure. He said that with only 14-16 lakh beds in the hospitals throughout the country currently, India needs 26 lakh such hospital beds to cater to the current demand. While 65 million surgeries should be done in a year, just 26 million surgeries are being undertaken currently, he added. He led particular emphasis on the role of tier 2 & 3 cities in the successful implementation of NHPS. Dr Paul highlighted the need of an adequate infrastructure in these cities because of their proximity to the people who are expected to be served under this scheme.

Dr Paul also pointed out that India’s healthcare sector is reeling under the pressure of severe shortage of training capacities. Although there has been an increase of 25 per cent in medical seats in the last year, there still exists a supply gap of healthcare professionals which must be addressed through DNB programmes.

While addressing the medical fraternity, Dr Praveen Gedam, Deputy CEO, National Health Authority informed that around 18,496 hospitals throughout the country have been empanelled under National Health Protection Scheme. He shared that the government has undertaken a rationalisation exercise for PM – JAY whereby Health Benefit Packages have been circulated in all the States and Union Territories. Going forward, focus will be given on IT customisation, ICD coding of packages for international comparisons and Convergence with other schemes, he also added. Dr Gedam expressed his willingness to have similar such dialogues in future for the benefit of healthcare providers.

During the interaction, representatives from the industry highlighted transparent processes, timely payments, package rates in consonance with the interest of stakeholders as some of the areas which need to be focused upon while implementing NHPS. Dr Paul invited suggestions from the august gathering present at the meeting for implementing the scheme successfully across the country.

Earlier, while delivering the Welcome Remarks, Dr Dharminder Nagar, Chairman, CII Regional Committee on Healthcare and Managing Director, Paras Hospitals complimented the government for successful completion of one year of this transformative scheme. The intention and willingness for adopting this scheme is universal, he said.

While providing a brief perspective on Ayushman Bharat, Dr Dinesh Batra, Co-Chairman, CII Regional Committee on Healthcare and Director & Group CEO, Cygnus Hospitals also supported this initiative of the government. He recommended that a partnership mechanism between NHA and the private players can increase utilisation of capacities which will eventually make it highly viable for the healthcare service providers.

While Dr Om P Manchanda, Co-Chairman, Regional Committee on Healthcare and CEO, Dr Lal PathLabs Limited opined that the launch of NHPS has been a very big step towards playing a vital role in consolidating the currently fragmented healthcare market and making it even stronger.