Tertiary care for non-communicable diseases most expensive, now affordable to poor through Ayushman Bharat: Report

Dr Indu Bhushan, CEO, Ayushman Bharat, has stated that non-communicable diseases (NCD) like heart, kidney and diabetes are an increasing menace in the country and the treatment can wreck a family's finances.

Ayushman Bharat Yojna which has so far helped around 900.000 lakh patients in India, is also helping the country fight the menace of non-communicable diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Ayushman Bharat Yojana is Modi government’s flagship healthcare programme launched in September 2018, under the Ayushman Bharat Mission of MoHFW. The scheme aims at making interventions in primary, secondary and tertiary care systems, covering both preventive and promotive health, to address healthcare holistically. The scheme intends to provide coverage of Rs 5 lakh per family annually, benefiting more than 10.74 crore poor families or over 50 crore people. Rs 10,000 crore were allocated for the scheme by Health Ministry, last year.

According to a Livemint report, 77% of total monetary help or 931.7 crore availed by patients have been spent on tertiary healthcare activities or non-communicable diseases. The tertiary healthcare specialities for treatment include cardiology, cardiothoracic, orthopaedics, urology and neurosurgery.

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The report states that about 900,000 patients have availed the benefits of the scheme so far, amounting to approximately ₹1210 crores.

“Major focus of PMJAY (Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojna) is on tertiary care which so far has been beyond the reach of poor which includes treatment for cancer, heart, respiratory and kidney diseases.” Indu Bhushan, Chief Executive of Ayushman Bharat Yojna, was quoted in the report. He added that diseases such as stroke, heart and kidney problems are rapidly increasing in the country, and poses a great threat to the pocket of a poor man in the country. Ayushman Bharat Yojna according to him, is proving itself life saviour for those people.

The report further states that according to a WHO study, diseases like NCDs and diabetes are rapidly increasing due to increased urbanization, sedentary lifestyles, unhealthy diets and excessive tobacco use. The organization states that in India, in the age group of 20-70, around 8.7% people are suffering from diabetes, which in turn can deadly by giving rise to strokes. A report by the Indian Council of Medical Research states that in 1990, around 37.09% people, used to lose their lives due to NCDs. Now, according to study, a whopping 61.8% people lose their lives, for same diseases.

As per the National Family Health Survey 0f 2015-16, 1 in 10 women and 1 in 7 men of age 15-49 are suffering from hypertensive health problems, with chronic diseases related to kidney being the 8th leading cause of death.

“NCDs such as stroke, kidney and heart diseases are being diagnosed fast in rural population also. It impacts the poor the most as their treatment causes catastrophic expenditure and further worsens their poverty situation.” Health minister, JP Nadda asserted. He also said that Ayushman Bharat is delivering affordable treatments to patients for NCDs.

Recently, Ayushman Bharat Scheme earned major accolades when Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates congratulated the Indian government on completion of 100 days of Ayushmaan Bharat initiative.

Ayushman Bharat is the world’s largest state-sponsored welfare scheme in the world. Recently, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Direct-General of WHO also praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Health Minister J P Nadda for their visionary leadership which helped around seven lakh people avail benefits of the healthcare scheme Ayushman Bharat in the first 100 days of its launch.


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