The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has reiterated its full support to the central government's ambitious heath scheme Ayushman Bharat-National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM).
Dr. Indu Bhushan, CEO, AB-NHPM and Dr. R. N. Tandon, secretary general, IMA met recently in this regard to discuss the potential collaboration in implementing the Mission. IMA representatives agreed to extend their support for better implementation of AB-NHPM especially in field of empanelment of hospitals, spreading awareness and beneficiary identification processes.
Dr. Tandon said “IMA is proud to be associated with AB-NHPM and would be keen to provide help in spreading awareness and developing a larger network of quality service providers especially in Tier 2 & Tier 3 cities.”
Dr. Indu Bhushan added that IMA is a critical stakeholder in AB-NHPM as private sector role is key to success of AB-NHPM by enhancing the accessibility to quality and patient centric care. Key issues like timely payments to the hospitals, feedback & grievance mechanism, ease of setting up of IT infrastructure at hospitals for paperless transactions etc. were deliberated on, and constructive suggestions were made during the meeting.
Dr. Dinesh Arora, Dy. CEO stated that NABH accreditation is desirable but not essential for the hospitals, since the quality and patient safety would be one of the key principle of AB-NHPM. He also conveyed that based on costing studies to be steered by NITI Aayog, continual adjustment of benefit packages and their rates is proposed, hence, IMA need to support NHA through their on-ground knowledge and professional expertise.
Indu Bhushan emphasized that, “We need to ensure that the targeted beneficiaries under AB-NHPM will get maximum benefits and can expand access to quality health services in both rural and urban areas including Tier-2 and 3 cities. This can be done only when Government, private healthcare providers and associations like IMA and other industry bodies work together as partners for betterment of health status of the society”
AB-NHPM has been designed to provide financial protection and prevent catastrophic health care expenditures to over ten crore poor and vulnerable families and endow a cover for cashless hospitalization services of upto Rs Five lakh per family per year.