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Health care programs are more crucial for rural areas – ET HealthWorld

Of Priyadarshi Mohapatra

Good health is invaluable and can be considered the greatest wealth. It enables us to live life to the fullest and also ensures that we are productive for ourselves, our families, our communities and our country.

The Government of India (GoI) is taking several initiatives to provide healthcare to all Indians, under which the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has received Rs. 89,155 crore (US$10.76 billion) in the 2023-2024 Union budget. Furthermore, it also intends to launch a credit incentive scheme of Rs. 500 billion (US$6.8 billion) to improve the country’s health infrastructure.

Benefits of health care programs:
Health care programs are essential for promoting and maintaining the health and well-being of individuals and communities. It can help identify early-stage health problems before they become more serious and may require more expensive or invasive treatments. Early identification and diagnosis helps people manage their health and prevent the development of more serious health problems. It also helps improve quality of life by providing access to care, medications, and other services to maintain quality of life. It is a preventive and health promoting approach that is ‘proactive’ as opposed to the traditional ‘reactive’ approach to illness and disease. This approach ensures that individuals are healthy and can contribute more fully to society, leading to higher productivity and better economic outcomes.

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Health programs and policies help promote public health and prevent the spread of infectious diseases, a prime example being the eradication of poliovirus infection in India. Similarly, Ayushman Bharat Yojana, now called Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY), is one of the largest health insurance schemes in the world. It is a flagship scheme by the Government of India to realize the vision of universal health coverage with its underlying pledge, which is to ‘leave no one behind’. The scheme brings significant benefits to vulnerable sections of society by improving access to health services and reducing the financial burden on individuals. It helps ensure that everyone has the opportunity to receive the care they need to maintain good health.

Rural India – Access to health services:
As a developing nation, it is important to provide financial protection to vulnerable sections of society, such as low-income families, the elderly and people with disabilities, when it comes to healthcare costs. This allows them to access health services without worrying about the cost, which can be a significant barrier for many people. Healthcare in rural India faces several challenges due to factors such as limited resources, inadequate infrastructure, and shortage of skilled healthcare professionals including doctors, nurses and other medical personnel, thus limiting the accessibility and availability of healthcare services in these areas. In addition to this, many people living in rural India may have limited health education and awareness, which can make it difficult for them to know when to seek health care, thus leading to delays in diagnosis and complications.

PM-JAY mainly focuses on insuring the following businesses:
1. Insurance coverage for families of 10 crores or individuals of around 50 crores The scheme provides health coverage up to Rs. 5 lakh per household per year for secondary and tertiary hospital treatment including pre-existing conditions which were not previously covered.

2. Emphasis on primary health care: The program aims to promote and strengthen primary health care through health and wellness centers (HWCs), which will provide comprehensive health services such as prevention, promotion and early diagnosis of diseases. Thus reducing the burden on secondary and tertiary care facilities.

3. Paperless and cashless: all transactions, including hospitalization, discharge and payment, are made online via a dedicated IT platform, eliminating the need for physical documentation and ensuring transparency of the entire process. There is also a pre-authorization letter to beneficiaries, which can be used at integrated hospitals.

Therefore, by improving healthcare in rural India, we can help ensure that everyone has access to the care they need to maintain good health and well-being.

Priyadarshi Mohapatra, founder, CureBay

(DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are solely those of the author and ETHealthworld does not necessarily subscribe to them. ETHealthworld.com will not be liable for any damages caused to any person/organization directly or indirectly.)

  • Posted May 30, 2023 at 07:03am IST

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