Union budget 2018, the last full budget of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA government before national elections has focused on providing decent healthcare to the poor.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced two major initiatives under the Ayushman Bharat Programme to address the health sector holistically in primary, secondary and tertiary sectors. The finance minister said India was progressing towards universal health coverage.
Under the first initiative 1.5 lakh health centres will be established for better access to healthcare for which Rs. 1200 crore has been allocated.
The second initiative is the flagship National Health Protection Scheme. This ambitious health insurance scheme is said to benefit about 50 crore beneficiaries, the government estimates.
Here are 5 things you need to know about the National Health Protection Scheme.
1) The finance minister has said that the scheme will be the world’s largest funded health care programme. The scheme has been allocated Rs 2000 crores.
2) The scheme shall cover 10 crore poor and vulnerable families.
3) Under the scheme each family shall have an insurance coverage of up to Rs. 5 lakh per year.
4) It shall only cover secondary and tertiary hospitalization
5) Earlier the Rashtriya Swasthya Bhima Yojana (RSBY) provided an insurance coverage of only Rs. 30,000 per year to poor families.