Dr. Rana Mehta, Partner & Leader – Healthcare, PwC India
On the health coverage of Rs 5 Lakh per family:
The government’s move to provide a coverage of up to Rs 5 lakh per family of 10 crore poor families is the biggest scheme of its kind in the world and is in continuation with the trend of the Government being a payer rather than a provider in the secondary and tertiary care space. This will provide much needed protection to the most vulnerable section of our population.
On the National Health Protection Scheme:
The National Health Protection scheme will be the biggest scheme of its kind in the world and will help in having a healthy population and increasing the productivity due to lower Disability Adjusted Life years (DALYS) lost. This is a positive step towards achieving the Governments plan for Universal Health Coverage for all Indian citizens.
On the upgrade of hospitals to medical colleges:
One of the biggest reasons for individuals falling into poverty is a catastrophic episode of illness.
The move to upgrade 24 existing district hospitals to medical colleges and hospitals is a positive step and will help in increasing the availability of trained manpower and enhance the quality of healthcare especially in the rural areas.
On the benefits for senior citizens:
The Government has also recognized the impact of medical inflation and increased the amount exempt from tax for senior citizens to 1 lakh from 60,000 under section 80 DDB and medical insurance deduction under section 80 D to 50,000 from 30,000.
On the creation of wellness centers:
The Government’s move to turn 1.5 lakh health sub centers into wellness centers will help in the early detection of disease reducing both mortality and morbidity. It will also help change the current focus from treatment to proactive prevention.