03 July 2019 | News
NATHEALTH recommends the government to make Healthcare a priority sector to meet the long term funding and financing requirements
In order to meet the growing need of higher funding, NATHEALTH has sought a priority status to healthcare sector and urged the government to expand health insurance coverage to other sections of society.
In its pre-budget memorandum to the Government, the body stressed upon ‘priority sector’ status to meet the long term funding and financing requirements. According to NATHEALTH, a priority sector status will act as a catalyst for channelizing funds from the banking sector and not only create a necessary healthcare infrastructure but will also ensure that the societal objectives of the Government are adequately met.
Dr. Sudarshan Ballal, President, NATHEALTH said, “Existing shortcomings of the Healthcare sector are impeding the sector’s potential in terms of infrastructure development, entrepreneurial spirit and capacity building. Priority status will not only facilitate ease of access to funding but also bring in accessibility, availability and quality in Tier 3 & 4 cities and rural areas.”
“In order to ensure access to preventive and curative care of sufficient quality and safeguards the entire community from financial distress, initially the government can give organized sector employees an option of either paying their ESI contribution or purchasing health insurance from any IRDA regulated insurance company. Eventually it can be expanded to middle and upper middle classes,” he added.
The harmonized master list of infrastructure sub sectors by the Reserve Bank of India in 2012 includes Healthcare as a priority area for development. However, often these projects are long term based and require adequate funding options which are still not available at a Healthcare provider level. Thus long term funding options with clearly defined gestation period would certainly be a step in the right direction.
Following are the recommendations and suggestions that the apex healthcare body has put forth for the Government: