NEW DELHI: Amidst criticism over lack of budgetary allocation and a roadmap for its flagship National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS), the Central government has entrusted Niti Aayog to prepare a blueprint for the policy within two months.
“There are lots of loose ends in the policy. The task has been entrusted to Niti Aayog to prepare the full roadmap for the policy. They will submit the report within two months,” a senior official from the Ministry of Finance said.
According to the official, the report will carry the exact cost of the scheme, including the funding model, total manpower required and the exact status of healthcare infrastructure in the country to support it, including a roadmap for states.
“The Aayog has also been asked to give a separate report on Rashtriya Swastha Bima Yojana (RSBY), the model for the scheme. It will include learning, and shortcomings of this scheme will help the government to implement the scheme more efficiently,” the official added.
The government has allocated `2,000 crore for RSBY in 2018-19, and part of this will be used to fund NHPS. There was criticism over the lack of a roadmap for the fund allocation and implementation of the project, given its size. The rough estimation suggests `10,000-12,000 crore for the full rollout of the scheme to cover 10 crore families or 50 crore beneficiaries.
The report will also have a blueprint for the public-private partnership, including private hospitals included the scheme.
Once the primary report is out, Niti Aayog will work with state government teams, taking a stock of healthcare infrastructure challenges in backward states. After that it will come up with its model for the states.
Last week, Niti Aayog member (health) V K Paul had said that the biggest challenge for the NHPS scheme will be limited health workforce.
“Resources are not a constraint. We have more than enough funds for the scheme. Challenge is to create a cadre of trained people to cater services at all levels of healthcare,” Paul had said.