It seems that the government has realised the gravity of the situation as Union finance minister Arun Jaitley, announced the National Health Protection Scheme in this year's budget. The key features of this scheme are -
- Provision of hospitalisation cover of Rs. 5,00,000 a year to 10 crore families.
- It covers prevention of medical issues and promotion of health related care.
- The government has promised Rs 2,000 crores to the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna which will be the route for the National Health Protection Scheme will be initially routed.
- The National Rural Health Mission has been allocated Rs 9,752.82 crore.
- The flexible pool for non-communicable diseases, injury and trauma has been granted Rs 1,004.67 crore.
- But at the same time, the allocation to the National Health Mission has been reduced.
- Many new medical colleges have been announced and the National Health Policy has been allocated funds to set up health and wellness centres all across the country.
The not-so-good aspect is that there has not been much groundwork done to implement the scheme. It requires not just money but care centres all over the country, many more doctors especially in the rural areas and awareness among the public regarding the scheme. It has also been seen that in the past such schemes have fizzled out. We will have to wait and watch how this scheme will fare.