India Today

Putting a price on health

Modi's ambitious health insurance scheme may be a non-starter with private hospitals finding treatment rates unviable and several states reluctant to enlist

When Naresh Chandra first heard about the Narendra Modi governments ambitious plan to roll out the Ayushman Bharat National Health Protection Mission, toured as the worlds biggest health insurance scheme, it sounded like the answer to his prayers. The 62-year-old Bareilly resident hasn't been able to walk for some months now. He needs knee replacement surgery immediately, but he's way down in the long queue of patients in government hospitals. Chandra cannot afford the surgery in a private hospital.

The World Bank says rising expenditure on private healthcare is keeping millions of Indians in poverty. State-run health services have not kept pace with the population. Sixty per cent of the 60,000-70,000 public/ private hospitals in the country have less than 30 beds and only some 3,000 of them have 100 or more

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