Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced World’s largest Healthcare Programme in the Union Budget 2018-19.
Jaitley announced Flagship National Healthcare protection scheme, which covers approximately 50 crore beneficiaries. The scheme providing a health insurance cover of ₹5 lakh a family per annum and cover 10 crore vulnerable families Up to Rs 5 lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation. It is a World’s largest government-funded healthcare programme.
Under the programme, Mr. Jaitley announced a new flagship National Health Protection Scheme, providing a health insurance cover of ₹5 lakh a family per annum. The scheme will cover 10 crore vulnerable families, with approximately 50 crore beneficiaries.
Mr. Jaitley also announced the creation of health and wellness centres, which will “bring healthcare closer to home”. These centres, 1.5 lakh in number, will provide free essential drugs and diagnostic services. A sum of Rs. 1200 crore had been allocated for this.
The programme would take public healthcare in the world’s largest democracy “to a new aspiration level”, said the Finance Minister, saying that his government was steadily but surely progressing towards a goal of “universal health coverage.”
According to officials it will take some time to roll out the scheme.
Officials indicated the government was yet to decide how to extend this health cover but underlined that the states would have to bear a part of the financial burden.