In Three Days, Govt Will Sign MoUs With 14 States on Modicare: Health Minister JP Nadda
The minister took to Twitter to say that the government would sign the MoU with 14 states, with 12 of them already signed on. Others, said the minister, are in talks with the Centre, regardless of their own health insurance schemes.
File photo of Union health minister JP Nadda. (Reuters)
New Delhi: Union health minister JP Nadda on Monday said that the government will sign memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with “maximum number of states” on the National Health Protection Mission (NHPM).
The central government’s insurance scheme has recently seen Kerala come on board, while West Bengal decided to stay out.
The announcement came soon after Nadda held a press conference to highlight the achievements of the ministry in the last four years. The minister took to Twitter to say that the government would sign the MoU with 14 states, with 12 of them already signed on. Others, said the minister, are in talks with the Centre, regardless of their own health insurance schemes.
“We will release the empanelment criteria to the states. It is up to them if they want to merge their schemes with ours, which many are considering,” said Nadda. The Centre, he added, had different MoUs with different states to suit their needs.
Health secretary Preeti Sudan, too, told the press that many states will be in attendance on June 14 but she could not say for certain how many would sign that very day.
She also shot down any future changes in the rates of treatment packages under NHPM. Private hospitals had recently written to the NITI Aayog expressing alarm over the new rates. “The ministry and the NITI Aayog have frozen these rates,” she said.
By the second or third week of July, added Nadda, the IT platform that will form the backbone of NHPM will be finalised and up for testing. However, he was reticent on sharing the date of the NHPM launch, saying it was contingent on the testing. The ministry is holding off on fixing a date as of now, without knowing what glitches might plague the IT system.
The ministry had, in April, combined its efforts with the union rural development ministry’s Gram Swaraj Abhiyan, to update the date from the socio-economic census and draw up a list of NHPM beneficiaries. In rural India, 80 percent of these beneficiaries have been identified. However, the numbers for urban India, said Nadda, are still to be tabulated.
NHPM is one part of the current government’s most ambitious health scheme, Ayushman Bharat. The second is converting 1.5 lakh sub-centres and primary health centres — the first rung of India’s primary healthcare — into health and wellness centres. This target, Nadda said, would be met by 2022. This year, the ministry would convert 14000 centres, with about 200 being done so in June and July.
These health and wellness centres, Nadda said, would be used to bolster preventive health care for both infectious and non-communicable diseases (NCDs). There will be universal screening for people above the age of 30 for most common cancers and for tuberculosis, leprosy. This will help the ministry eradicate TB by its stated goal of 2025.
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